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Tunisia Plans to Boost Phosphate Production

Tunisia Plans to Boost Phosphate Production

Monday, 26 November, 2018 - 12:45
A worker works at a phosphate mine in Metlaoui, Tunisia April 6, 2012. Reuters/Zoubeir Souissi/File
Tunis - Al Munji Al Saidani
Tunisia has been working on implementing projects for a 30 percent increase, around 5 million tons, in its annual production of phosphate in 2019.

According to initial forecasts, the Tunisian output of phosphate won’t exceed 4 million tons by the end of this year, which amounts to only 50 percent of the country’s production in 2010.

The government has allocated TND140 million (around USD50 million) for developing the strategic phosphate sector and accessing foreign currency reserves.

A series of studies regarding the economic feasibility of several phosphate-related projects would be carried out, according to documents submitted by the government within the fiscal law of 2019.

These projects would contribute to supporting the Tunisian production of phosphate and regaining access to lost markets.

The extraction of phosphate in Tunisia has dropped due to the rise in production levels elsewhere, especially in Morocco, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia. Further, prices of its derivatives have gone downwards because of production surplus in the global market, in addition to the continuous drop in demand on phosphate fertilizers namely by India.

Around 75 percent of the Tunisian phosphate production exports reach European markets. But the drop in exports came after repeated protests in the main producing southwestern region of Gafsa.

Tunisia used to export phosphate to around 20 countries.

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