Tunisia: 40% of summer fruit exports go to Libya

Tunisia’s exports of summer fruits increased by 17% reaching 32,500 tons, against 27,600 tons in the same period last year, the Agriculture Ministry said Monday.

During this season, official forecasts in Tunisia expect overall exports of summer fruit to reach nearly 41 million tonnes. "The target sought-after is to exceed the volume exported in 2011 so as to reach the record quantities exported in 2010 (45,000 tonnes).

Watermelon exports accounted for 54% of Tunisia’s overall exports of summer fruits and stone fruits followed with 28%, said the Ministry of Agriculture.

Tunisian summer fruits were exported mainly to Libya, which has received about 13,000 tons alone, i.e. 40% of the total quantities exported, against approximately 7,000 tonnes in the previous season.

Tunisia also export to Italy, Algeria and France. Exports of Tunisian summer fruits are faced with the high cost of air and sea transport, in addition to boarding difficulties that "undermine the competitiveness of Tunisian products in terms of prices and preserving quality during the transport operation," according to the Tunisian Ministry of Agriculture.

From January 1 to August 15, Tunisia exported 140,000 tons of fruit (dates, citrus and summer fruits), with a value of 361 million dinars against 130,000 tons in the same period of 2011.

(Source: African Manager)

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