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Reference Date: 08-July-2015


  1. Below-average cereal harvest gathered in 2015

  2. Relatively stable domestic grain prices observed

  3. Economic growth slows down again; high unemployment rates, in particular among young people, remains a concern

Below-average cereal harvest gathered in 2015

The 2015 winter grain harvest in Tunisia concluded at the end of June. Although favourable weather conditions prevailed for the most part of the season, excessively hot weather (up to 45 degrees Celsius) affected the region in early May 2015. Heat-related damages to late developing wheat in early grain-filling stages were reported.

Preliminary estimates of the 2015 cereal production point to a well below-average harvest of 1.4 million tonnes. At this level, the crop is almost 40 percent lower than last year’s above-average crop and some 25 percent below the previous five-year average. Most of the grain produced is wheat which in 2015, at about 1.1 million tonnes recorded a decrease of over 37 percent compared to last year’s above-average harvest. In Tunisia crop production varies markedly from year to year depending on the significant rainfall variations. Irrigated wheat area represents less than 15 percent of the total wheat area planted.

Tunisia relies heavily on grain imports, mainly wheat, even in good production years. Accordingly, cereal import requirements in the current 2015/16 marketing year (July/June) are put at about 3.9 million tonnes, about 33 percent higher than last year and 30 percent higher than the five‑year average.

Domestic grain prices stable but some increases observed in rate of inflation

In spite of the country’s high import dependency rate, changes in international grain prices do not translate into changes in domestic prices, mainly due to Government subsidies on basic food items. Prices of wheat products, the main staple in the country, are relatively stable, as reflected by the very low inflation of bread and cereals (less than 3 percent on a yearly basis since January 2012). Overall, the food and beverage Consumer Price Index (CPI) in May 2015 recorded 7.5 percent on a year-on-year basis, about the same as last year.

Economic growth slows down again, unemployment rate remains high

The economy was slowly recovering from the 1.8 percent contraction in 2011, reaching about a 2.3 percent growth in 2014. Recent terrorist attacks and their negative impact on the economy, in general, and the hard currency earnings in particular together with the slow recovery in the European Union (Tunisia’s main trading partner) contributed to a weak growth of about 1.8 percent in 2015.

The unemployment rate remains at a high level (15.2 percent in the first quarter of 2014, a slight decrease from the 19 percent in 2011). Youth unemployment (15‑29 year-olds) remains particularly high reaching over 30 percent in 2012.

Relevant links:
 Food Price Data and Analysis Tool
 Earth Observation Indicators
 Seasonal Indicators
 Vegetation Indicators
 Precipitation Indicators
 Graphs & Data
 NDVI & Precipitation
From FAO:
 FAO Country Profiles

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