TUNIS, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- The food trade deficit of Tunisia in August stands at 70 percent, lower from 74 percent the same period last year, the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture said on Wednesday.
At the end of June 2017, this rate was approximately 68.5 percent. This change is explained by the growth of food imports to 21 percent, and the essential products which alone account for 74 percent of the total imports.
In the first eight months of this year, food imports represent 9.2 percent of the country's total imports, according to the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture.
On the other hand, exports grew by only 13 percent, which leads to a food trade deficit of 886.2 million dinars (354.5 U.S. dollars), the equivalent of 8.8 percent of the total trade deficit of Tunisia.
In the upward trend, exports of agricultural and fisheries products increased by 13 percent until the end of August 2017. Similarly, the exports of olive oil also saw an upsurge, with a relative increase of 2 percent reported despite a 19-percent decline in the export volume of olive oil.
In light of these statistics, and in addition to the forecasts of the last quarter, the Tunisian food trade balance could close the current fiscal year with an attenuated deficit to reach 73 percent.