February 6, 2018 / 10:37 AM / 4 months ago

Tunisia's foreign reserves fall to levels equal to 84 days of imports

TUNIS, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Tunisia’s foreign currency reserves have dropped to levels worth just 84 days of imports, their lowest in 15 years, central bank figures showed on Tuesday.

Reserves fell to 11.887 billion dinars ($4.98 billion) by Feb 5, enough to cover 84 days of imports, compared with 101 days in the same period a year earlier, Tunisia’s central bank said on its website.

A worsening trade deficit and declining tourism revenues have eroded the reserves. Tunisia’s trade deficit widened in December 2017 to a record $6.25 billion.

Analysts says the fall of foreign currency reserves is a potential threat for debt payments and to imports of basic food and energy imports.

In October, Tunisia imposed restrictions on importing some goods to curb its widening trade deficit and protect foreign reserves.

Tourism revenues fell to 104 million dinars in January 2018 compared to 132 million in the same period last year.

$1 = 2.3863 Tunisian dinars Reporting By Tarek Amara, editing by Ulf Laessing, Larry king

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