Tunisia: Milk, Sugar Shortages Set to Continue as Supplies Dwindle

by | Nov 15, 2023 | Economic, Social, Tunisia


Last week, union officials raised additional concerns about the state of milk and sugar supplies, urging action to prevent additional shortages as government funds dwindle. 

A union official representing the dairy sector called for additional support for dairy farmers who feel the strain of high feed prices, the ongoing drought, and government control of pricing. As prices have risen, some cattle ranchers abandoned their livestock through unauthorized butchering or sales to Algerian buyers in order to avoid operating at a loss. 

Meanwhile, union officials representing the country’s primary sugar refinery in Beja reported that operations were stalled for a week due to fuel shortages. While a fuel shipment was expected in the near-term, the union official noted that only 2,000 tons of unrefined sugar remained estimated to support around two weeks of consumption. Once refined, operations would have to halt again until additional raw sugar is imported. 


Shortages of staples used daily in many Tunisian homes continue to drive concern about the country’s economic trajectory. Commentators persist in highlighting the precarious position of the economy, particularly if a significant influx of funding is not secured to balance the 2024 budget. 

While food shortages to this point have disproportionately impacted the poor, frustration is rapidly growing as even the wealthiest Tunisians are forced to go without certain staples as supplies ebb and flow.  

In the short term, the resilience of the population will continue to shine through as black and grey markets expand to meet needs. However, in the medium term, the patience of the population with government leadership may be tested if basic foodstuffs remain unavailable. 


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