Food imports continue to decline in first 8 months of 2019

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ALGIERS- Algeria’s foodstuffs imports continued to decline by nearly -8% in the first 8 months of 2019, compared with the same period in 2018, said the General Directorate of the Algerian Customs.

Overall, the food import bill reached US $ 5.43 billion (US $ bn) in the first eight months of the current year, compared with US $ 5.90 bn in the same period of 2018, recording a drop of $ 459.5 million (-7.80%), said the Directorate of Studies and Prospects of Customs (DEPD).

This decline is mainly due to a decrease in imports of cereals, milk and dairy products, sugars and vegetables.

Representing 33.88% of the food import structure, cereals, semolina and flour reached US $ 1.84 billion, compared to US $ 2.15 billion in 2018, a decrease of -14.42%.

Imports of dairy products also fell to US $ 859.02 million, against US $ 967.10 million, also down 11.18%.

The import bill for sugar and confectionery sugar also fell to US $ 476.23 million, compared to US $ 579.23 million (-17.78%).

Same trend for residues and waste from the food industries, including cakes and other solid residues that were imported for nearly 393.96 million usd, against 513.51 million usd, down 23.28%.

From January to August, the decline also affected other food products.

These were coffee and tea imports of US $ 228.24 million, compared with US $ 238.30 million (-4.22%), while vegetables (-8.88%) accounted for 174.88 million US dollars, against 191.25 million usd, during the same period of comparison and finally imports of various food preparations, which decreased slightly by -1.07% to 219.82 million usd.

Drugs: 11.4% drop in imports

In contrast, other product groups in the import structure experienced increases during the comparison period. The most affected are tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes, edible fruits and live animals.

Thus, imports of tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes reached US $ 251.33 million in the eight months of 2019, compared with US $ 144.64 million in the same period of the previous year, registering an increase of 73.76%.

Algeria’s purchases of edible fruits (fresh or dried fruit) totaled US $ 199.38 million, compared with US $ 122.55 million, an increase of 62.69 percent, DEPD details.

Imports of live animals reached 170.94 million usd, against 125.67 million usd (+ 36.02%) during the same comparison period.

In addition to these main products, the rest of the food goods were imported for US $ 619.95 million, compared to US $ 638.01 million (2.83%).

Regarding soybean oil and its fractions, even refined (classified in the group of raw products), their imports increased by 2.42%, amounting to nearly 419 million usd, against 409 million usd.

In the case of drugs (classified in the group of non-food consumer goods), their import bill decreased by -11.42% to US $ 785.23 million compared to US $ 786.23 million. million usd.

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 Ramadhan, including the relaxation of food imports such as meat.

In this context, it was decided to remove from the list of products subject to the Provisional Additional Dockage Fee (DAPS), fresh or chilled beef, dried fruit (peanuts, almonds …), dried fruit (grapes dry, prunes …) and dietary foods for medical purposes and other products (butter …).

APS

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