The value of Algeria’s hydrocarbon exports in the first half of 2013 fell by 7.1% to $34.50bn from $37.12bn in the corresponding period of 2012, according to latest statistics form Algeria’s customs office. The average export price for Algeria’s Saharan Blend crude fell 5.3% over the same period accounting for most, though not all, of the shortfall (although gas as well as oil exports are a key export earner, gas prices are largely oil-linked).

Algerian total exports for the first half of 2013 also slid, not surprising given that 96.1% of export revenue comes from hydrocarbons – although this is down from 97% a year earlier, with non-hydrocarbon exports growing by a whopping 66% over this period. Imports increased by 18% to $28.35bn in first half 2013 from $24.02bn in the corresponding period of 2012. The lion’s share of the import hike was accounted for by a 91% rise, to $2.6bn, in imports of oil products – necessitated by the expansion program at Algeria’s key 335,000 b/d Skikda refinery which reduced throughputs by half between July 2012 and May 2013. The full restart of Skikda should see this trend reversed in the second half 2013. (CONTINUED - 527 WORDS)