Tunisia: Sharp decline of 51% in food balance deficit at end-September 2020

Tunisia’s food balance deficit declined sharply by 50.9% during the first nine months of 2020 compared to its level in the same period of 2019, according to data from the Central Bank of Tunisia ( BCT).

This deficit stood at 546.400 million dinars against 1.114 billion dinars during the first nine months of 2019, a contraction of 568.100 million dinars. The issuing body explains this development mainly by the resumption of exports (+ 16.2% against -14.3%), in particular those of olive oil (78.3%) against a drop in imports. (-1.3% against + 9.6% a year earlier). « Thus, underlines the BCT, the rate of coverage improved by 13.1 percentage points to stand at 87.1% ».

Preparatory work for the 2020-2021 cereal campaign has started with planned areas of around 1,252,000 hectares, of which 73,000 are irrigated against 1,325,000 and 68,000 hectares the previous season.

Regarding the arboriculture sector, the initial forecasts for the new season count on a harvest of olive oil of 700,000 tonnes, or the equivalent of 140,000 tonnes of olive oil, a level sharply lower compared to in the previous campaign (350,000 tons) which made it possible to export about 312,000 tons of olive oil for a value of 1.880 billion dinars, from November 2019 to the end of August 2020, against 139,000 tons and 1.234 billion dinars during the same period of the previous campaign.

Regarding the production of dates, it is estimated at 345,000 tonnes for the current campaign against 332,000 tonnes during the past season.

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