Tunisia’s trade deficit more than doubled in the first two months of 2012, from 761.1 million Tunisian dinars (MTD) in February to 632.8 MTD in January, 2012, according to the latest figures released Tuesday by the National Institute of Statistics (INS). The increase in the deficit results from a 25.3% rise in imports. The latter had evolved only by 2.9% in 2011. In early 2012, imports reached 5727.8 MTD, which can be considered, according to INS, as the beginnings of an improvement in production and investment during the next period. Thus, imports have increased in all sectors: agriculture and basic food products (23.4%), energy (32.3%), mining and phosphate (17.87%), raw materials and semi-manufactures (+20.9%) and appliances (22.3%). Conversely, exports have increased only by 10.7% in January and February 2012, not exceeding 4095 MTD. This resulted in a decline in the coverage rate by 9.4 percentage points, compared to 2011, reaching 71.5%. The growth in exports is attributed to increased exports in several sectors, including energy products (18%). However, exports of phosphates and derivatives posted a decline of 41.9%, compared with the same period of 2011.