World News 09/06/2014

Tunisia hoping for a good olive oil season

Collapsed the export of olive oil in 2014 due to a crop far below average. It raises the deficit Tunisian agro-food chain that depends mainly on the olive-oil production

For Tunisia, the olive-oil production supply chain is crucial, a fact that must be considered in the logic of the negotiations, when Coi and elsewhere with this country.

According to data provided by Mohamed Ben Mohamed, CEO of the National Office for the olive oil, exports in the first four months of the year were 26,000 tons, for a total of 104.2 million dinars (220 million euro). Of these 60 million Euros are due to oil packaged as Tunisian while the rest is loose.

A drastic drop of 74% in value and 76% in volume compared to the same period last year.

Because of the poor performance of the oil sector, the agri-food trade deficit of Tunisia in the first four months of the year rose to 615 million dinars (1.3 billion euro) against 293 million (650 million) for the same period of ' previous year.

Just last fall in Tunisia has witnessed a revolution, with the liberalization of the price of olive oil and the loss of the "monopoly" dell'OHN, or the government office olive oil. All this, according to Mohamed Ben Mohamed, has led to an aggravation of competitiveness, with large imbalances between actors in the supply chain.

"Now the OHN - said Mohamed Ben Mohamed - exports only 10% of the total olive oil in the country while the rest is distributed among 40 exporters. Almost all Tunisian oil is destined for the European market and in particular in Italy, Spain, France and Switzerland. "

A concern for the government even the resurgence of certain diseases that may affect productivity in the medium to long term. For that Tunisia has initiated programs to fight mandatory that have so far affected 320 thousand trees.

Good prospects, however, for the next oil campaign as the rainfall during the spring has been good, helping flowering.

di T N