Algeria’s trade surplus exceeded US$27 bn in 2012

ALGIERS- Algeria’s trade balance recorded a surplus of US$27.18 billion in 2012, against US$26.24 in 2011, i.e. up by nearly 3.6 percent, Algerian Customs told APS Sunday.

"The slight increase in trade surplus in Algeria is mainly due to the "relative stability" of import-export flows during 2012, said the Customs’ National Centre of Data Processing and Statistics (CNIS).

Exports hit US$73.98 bn in 2012, against US$73.48 bn a year earlier, up by only 0.67 percent, while imports totalled US$46.80 bn, against US$47.24 bn in 2011, down 0.94 percent, according to provisional figures provided by CNIS.

Hydrocarbon exports continued to represent the bulk of Algeria’s sales abroad with over 97 percent of the overall value, moving from US$71.79 bn in 2012 to US$71.42 bn in 2011, up by only 0.51 percent, the source said.

The non-oil exports remained marginal with only 2.96 percent of the overall value (US$2.18 bn), despite an over 6 percent rise compared to 2011.

They are mainly made up of semi-finished products with US$1.66 bn, (+10.96% in 2012), foodstuffs with US$313 million (-11.78%) and raw materials with US$167 million (+3.73%), the CNIS said.

In imports, the exports of non-food consumer goods which dropped by 50 percent in 2011, showed a 6.7 percent increase, totalling US$16 million in 2012, while industrial capital goods totalled US$30 million in 2012, down by over 14 percent compared to 2011, according to CNIS.

The same downward trend was recorded in farm capital goods which amounted to US$329 million (-14.99%) and semi-finished products totalled US$10.37 billion (-2.95%), the source added.

Other groups of imported products showed an increase, the most significant was recorded in energy and lubricants with US$1.88 bn (+62.11%), unfinished products with US$1.82 bn (+2.30%), non-food consumer goods with US$9.95 bn (+35.85%), the CNIS said.

In 2012, Algeria’s major trading customers were the United States with US$11.94 bn, Italy (US$11.67bn), Spain (US$7.57bn), France (US$6.60bn) and Canada (US$5.48bn).

And its main suppliers were France with over US$6bn, China (US$5.88bn), Italy (US$4.34bn), Spain (US$4.09bn) and Germany (US$2.57bn), according to CNIS.

(APS) Sunday 20 January 2013