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Tunisian Exports on Record-Breaking Pace

Aug. 31, 2020
Daniel Dawson

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Tunisia is on pace to export a record-set­ting 340,000 tons of olive oil in the 2019/20 crop year, accord­ing to fig­ures pub­lished by the coun­try’s National Olive Oil Board (ONH).

Chokri Bayoudh, the CEO of the ONH, told the local TAP news agency that the exports would be worth more than two bil­lion dinar ($730 mil­lion) and the rev­enue cre­ated by the sales would make up roughly 4.25 per­cent of the gov­ern­men­t’s bud­get.

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While the vast major­ity of these exports are made up of bulk olive oil sales, Bayoudh pointed out that sales of pack­aged olive oil are also on the rise.

Exports of pack­aged olive oil rose to 20,000 tons. We hope that they will reach 25,000 tons by the end of this sea­son,” Bayoudh said.

For local pro­duc­ers, this is sig­nif­i­cant as pack­aged olive oil sales are worth 12 dinar ($4.40) per bot­tle, whereas olive oil sold in bulk is worth only six dinar ($2.20) per kilo­gram.

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Bayoudh par­tially attrib­uted this record-set­ting year to lock­downs in Europe imple­mented as a result of the Covid-19 pan­demic as well as a bumper crop enjoyed by Tunisian pro­duc­ers.

During the lock­down that was decreed in March and April, we were able to export an aver­age of 45,000 tons per month,” he said.

Prior to this year, the high­est recorded level of exports was 304,000 tons in the 2014/15 crop year. Since then, Tunisia has exported an aver­age of 140,000 tons of olive oil per annum.

According to Bayoudh, roughly 80 per­cent of Tunisia’s olive oil exports are des­tined for the European Union. However, the world’s fourth largest pro­ducer of olive oil has also increased its mar­ket share in the United States, Canada, India and China.



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