ALGIERS – Algeria’s food imports have continued to drop by more than -11% in the first four months of 2019, compared with the same period of 2018, said the Directorate General of Algerian Customs.
Overall, the food import bill reached nearly $ 2.82 billion (US $ bn) in the first four months of this year, compared to nearly US $ 3.18 bn in the same period last year, a drop of nearly 361 million dollars (-11.35%), pointed out the Directorate of Studies and Customs Prospects.
This decline is mainly due to a decrease in imports of cereals, milk and milk products, sugars, soybean meal and pulses.
Representing nearly 33% of the food import structure, cereals, semolina and flour reached US $ 921.33 million, compared with US $ 1.163 billion in 2018, a decrease of 20.81%.
Imports of dairy products also fell to US $ 493.48 million from US $ 564.56 million, also down by almost 12.6 percent.
The import bill for sugar and sugar confectionery also fell to 248.85 million usd, against 299.82 million usd (-17%).
Same trend for residues and waste from the food industries, including cake and other solid residues that were imported for 201.40 million usd, against 290.77 million dollars, down -30.73%.
During the first four months of the current year, the decrease also concerned pulses which amounted to 116.20 million usd, against 122.30 million dollars (-4.99%), and finally a decrease , but of minor importance, having affected coffee and tea (-0.22%), totaling nearly 124.2 million usd, against 124.45 million usd.
On the other hand, other groups of products in the import structure experienced increases during the comparison period and compared to the same period last year, these are edible fruits, live animals and various food preparations.
Drugs: further decline in imports
Thus, imports of edible fruits (fresh or dried fruit) amounted to US $ 89.25 million in the first four months of 2019, compared to US $ 55.62 million in the same period last year, an increase of more than 60.46%.
Imports of live animals reached 99.54 million usd, against 75.77 million usd (+ 31.37%) during the same period of comparison.
This upward trend also affected various food preparations, which rose from US $ 90.87 million to US $ 107.35 million in the same period of 2019 (+ 18.14%).
In addition to these main products, the rest of the food goods were imported for an amount of 416.2 million usd, against 391 million usd (+ 6.44%).
Regarding soybean oil and its fractions, even refined (classified in the Group of goods intended for the operation of the tool of production), their imports fell of 10,15%, settling in 208,23 million usd , against 231.77 million usd.
For drugs (classified in the group of non-food consumer goods), their import bill decreased to US $ 297.24 million in the first four months of 2019, compared with US $ 421.69 million. million USD at the same period of the previous year, a decrease of 29.51%.
As a reminder, new mechanisms for regulating merchandise imports, including food products (excluding strategic food products), had been put in place since the beginning of 2018 to reduce the trade deficit and promote domestic production.
The Ministry of Commerce announced, last April 14 provisions, to strengthen the supply of the market during the month of Ramadan, including the relaxation of food imports such as meat.
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