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Algeria’s trade surplus in the first eight months of 2014 has fallen by 20.4% to $4.67bn from $5.87bn in the corresponding period of 2013, official customs statistics show.
In 2013 the trade surplus fell to $11.1bn from $21.49bn in 2012. As recently as February the IMF projected only a moderate worsening to $10.4bn this year; the actual numbers for January-August suggest $7bn will be closer to the mark. Algeria posted a $20bn surplus as recently as 2011 (see graph).
OIL PRICES DOWN
The key change has been the sharp fall in crude prices since July. The average price for Algeria’s Saharan Blend export grade was $100.9/B in August, down almost $6/B in only one month and $9/B from the beginning of the year. For September the average price was $97.1/B, and crude prices have continued to fall since (see p20).
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