Tunisia authorizes phosphates imports for first time

After financial losses suffered by GCT company

17 September, 15:34

    TUNIS - Tunisia, which produces phosphates, has for the first time been forced to import some.
    Phosphates are used to make fertilizers.
    At the end of September, a shipment of phosphates from Algeria is expected to arrive at the Tunisian Chemical Group (GCT) company to replenish stock and enable the country to comply with its commitments for fertiliser production.
    GCT had requested official government authorisation to import phosphates and develop a plan to import about 40,000 tons of it every month, reports the TAP news agency.
    The director general of GCT has said that the decision was made after the group suffered financial losses of over 760 million dinars in 2012, as well as a 40% drop in production volume.
    The same source said that the lack of phosphates supply from the Gafsa Phosphate Company (CPG), the quantity of which dropped from 8 million tons in 2010 to an average of 3 million tons from 2011.
    The transportation and delivery of commercial phosphates by the CPG to its clients, especially the Tunisian Chemical Group (GCT) in Gabes and the Tunisian-Indian Fertilizer Company (TIFERT) in Skhira in the Sfax governorate had been suspended several times due to repeated protests and sit-ins organised by the unemployed in Gafsa. 

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