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Record deficit: Tunisia’s trade deals in numbers

Tunisia Reuters
Tunisia is battling an economic crisis, with inflation rising to 10.1% in December

Tunisia posted a record 55 percent increase in its trade deficit in 2022, reaching TND 25.2 billion ($8.18 billion), according to figures released by the National Institute of Statistics.

As the North African country battles an economic crisis, the deficit increase was attributed largely to the loss of trade with several key countries, including China, Turkey, Algeria, Russia, Italy and Spain.

Country2022 trade deficit (in Tunisian dinar)
China 8.5bn

However, the trade balance in goods recorded a surplus with some other countries, mainly France, Germany and Libya.

Country2022 trade surplus (in Tunisian dinar)

The trade balance deficit, excluding energy, narrowed to minus TND 14.6 billion. The energy balance deficit stood at minus TND 10.5 billion (41.9 percent of the total deficit).

Exports grew by 23.4 percent to TND 57.5 billion, and this rise covers several sectors:

Sector2022 export growth
Mines, phosphates and derivatives56.1%
Agro-food industries34.1%
Textiles, clothing and leather21%
Mechanical and electrical industries14.5%

Tunisian exports to the EU – which make up 67.5 percent of the country’s total exports – were up by 18.7 percent.

Exports to Algeria, meanwhile, were up 54.4 percent and to Libya, up by 36.5 percent.

Imports from the EU – which made up 44.2 percent of the country’s total imports – posted a 21.9 percent rise to TND 3.5 billion. Imports grew by 15.9 percent from France, 41.3 percent from Italy and 9.3 percent from Germany.

Imports recorded faster growth at a rate of 31.7 percent against 22 percent in 2021, reaching TND 82.8 billion.

Sector2022 import growth
Raw materials and semi-products33%
Consumer goods13.8%
Capital goods12%

The inflation rate confirmed its upward trend in December 2022, rising to 10.1 percent, from 9.8 percent in the previous month.