Tunisia -The food trade balance deficit shrank by 55% to TND 919.2 million between the end of October 2022 and 2023, according to data published on Thursday by the National Observatory for Agriculture (ONAGRI).

The coverage rate reached 85.7%, compared with 69.1% at the end of October 2022, according to a note from the observatory on food trade balance indicators at the end of October 2023.

In value terms, food exports rose by 20.4% compared with the end of October 2022, to TND 5,502.4 million.

Imports were worth TND 6,421.6 million at the end of October 2023, down 3% in the same period in 2022.

The decline in the deficit is mainly due to the rise by 54.3% in olive oil exports and the fall by 9% in grain imports and by 26.7% in vegetable oil imports, according to ONAGRI.

The food trade deficit narrowed despite the increase by 79.6% in imports of sugar, and by 59.9% in imports of milk and milk by-products.

Export prices were up by 59.3% for olive oil, 27.8% for tomatoes, 4.4% for dates, 2% for fish products and 1.2% for citrus fruits, compared with the same period in 2022, the observatory said.

Import prices for grain were down 26.5% for durum wheat, 21.9% for common wheat, 23.4% for barley and 20.2% for maize.

The same applies to vegetable oils and milk and milk by-products, which fell by 22% and 2%, respectively.

On the other hand, sugar prices rose by 15.3%.

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