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Tunisian food exports to Libya rise four times since conflict''s flare-up

TUNIS, July 16 (KUNA) -- Tunisian food exports to Libya, since the eruption of the armed rebelion aiming at removing Muammar Gaddafi, have increased fourfold in the first half of 2011 to hit TND 192.2 million compared to TND 53.
1 million during the first four months of this year.
The previous remarks were made Saturday by Lotfi Khdhir, foreign commerce monitor in the Trade and Tourism Ministry.
The Tunisian official attributed this increase to the big hike in the value of foodstuffs exported to Libya, particularly the rise recorded in the sales of vegetable oils which amounted to TND 61.1 million by the end of last June compared to TND 12.5 million during the first four months of the same year.
Khdhir asserted that the value of cereals exports from Tunisia to Libya over the same period has also soared from TND 4.8 million to TND 20.1 million, while the value of flour sales rose from TND 100,000 to TND nine million, and those regarding milk sales increased from TND 3.1 million from TND 6.6 million.
Tunisian foodstuffs exports accounted for 85 percent of the total Tunisian exports to the Libyan market in last June compared to 74 percent during last May, he explained Tunisian Ras Jdir border crossing between Tunisia and Libya sees an intensive trade traffic with demand for agricultural products and foodstuffs soaring, making Libya the largest market receipent of Tunisian exports including agricultural products, and foodstuffs with a share exceeding 24 percent of total exports late last June.
In spite of the positive results recorded in the trade field, such progress arouses in the meantime some concern on the part of the inhabitants of Tunisian border region on the adverse effects of such development on food supply and demand in Tunisia as the Holy Month of Ramadan in which consumption rises by more than 30 percent compared to other months is around the corner. (end) nm.aff KUNA 170013 Jul 11NNNN