Algeria’s Energy Earnings Lowers Trade Deficit

Algeria’s energy earnings rose 15.23 percent in the first seven months of this year from the same period in 2017, reducing the trade deficit by 53.5 percent, official data seen by Reuters revealed.

Oil and gas exports, which accounted for 93.09 percent of total sales abroad, reached $22.021 billion, up from $19.111 billion in January-July last year, according to customs figures.

The overall value of exports reached $23.656 billion against $20.205 billion in the first seven months of 2017, while imports fell 1.06 percent to $26.908 billion.

The government has approved import restrictions for some goods in a bid to cut spending after a fall in oil prices since 2014.

Algeria’s trade deficit had fallen to $856 million in the first four months after $3.87 billion in the same period last year. The sharp decline is mainly due to a rise in energy earnings as oil prices have risen. Oil and gas exports were up 18.6 percent to $14.36 billion in the four first months of 2018 versus $12.11 billion in the same period last year, the customs data showed.

OPEC member Algeria relies heavily on oil and gas, which account for 60 percent of the budget and 95 percent of total export revenue

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