Tunisia - In 2019, Tunisia exported, as part of its partnership agreement with the European Union, 90% of locally produced raw olive oil, a scenario that is repeating itself and which causes a loss of income for the country, according to numerous reports, including that of the Transnational (TNI).
The TNI, an international research institute specializing in development economics, reveals that Tunisian olive oil is mainly exported at low cost (2 dollars per liter) mainly to Italy and Spain, where it is packaged and sold at higher prices, knowing that 80% of Tunisia's olive oil production is intended for export. This results in a loss of revenues for Tunisia.
On the other hand, Italian and Spanish traders benefit from most of the added value with a stable supplyat a relatively low cost.
According to the survey, export-oriented production has led to an increase in the cost of olive oil on the local market as well as an increase in sales prices in the face of a decline in the purchasing power of Tunisians.
Tunisia, which produces olive oil, imports vegetable oil to meet domestic demands by relying on the financial surplus obtained through the export of olive oil. Therefore, a large part of the revenues generated from olive oil exports is used to finance imports of these vegetable oils.
In its survey, the Institute mentions that although Tunisia is one of the world's largest producers of olive oil, its average annual consumption per individual increased from 8.2 kg in 2000 to 6.7 kg in 2010 and 3.7 kg in 2020. This rate goes hand in hand with the lowest levels in the Mediterranean region of 3.7 kg per person, compared to 9.2 in Italy, 10.4 in Spain and 16.3 in Greece.
The European Union is seen as the main beneficiary of export policy. These data are recorded as part of the call of the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) to European officials to revise Tunisia's annual quota reserved by the EU and overcome all the obstacles facing the export of Tunisian olive oil.
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