Tunisia-Tunisia exports 146,000 tonnes of olive oil amid global COVID-19 crisis

Tunisian olive oil exports reached 146,000 tonnes by the end of March at a total value of 896 million dinars (MD) against 80,000 tonnes and receipts of 740 MD in 2019.

These figures are reported against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 crisis, said CEO of the National Olive Oil Board Chokri Bayoudh.

Tunisia kept on exporting olive oil to meet its market commitments, notwithstanding the suspension of trade and the almost full halt on overseas shipments, he further told TAP.

Average monthly exports stood at 30,000 tonnes in the period spanning from November 2019 to March 31, 2020.

Tunisia is also planning to export 250,000 tonnes of olive oil at an overall value exceeding the 2 billion dinar mark out of a forecast record production of 350,000 tonnes.

The country’s olive oil exports account for a surplus in the food trade balance. The geographical breakdown of international markets reveals that the European Union remains Tunisia’s main market with Italy and Spain as the biggest importers. The United States imported 15%.

Exports of packaged olive oil reached 8500 tonnes for an amount of 100 MD during the first five months of the export season. France remains the number one destination, followed by Canada and the United States.

Commenting on a 20% drop in prices, Bayoudh said this depends on supply and demand on the international market. A package of measures is in place to improve prices, including storage.

Olive oil storage yielded its fruits as producer prices rose 20% to 30%. Export prices followed suit.

The average export price for all varieties is set at 5,8 dinars/litre, he said.

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