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Algeria will rack up its first trade deficit in decades this year. Latest trade statistics for January-July 2015 indicate a seven-month deficit of $8bn, a sharp reversal from a $4bn surplus for the same period a year earlier and record surpluses of over $20bn for 2011 and 2012 (see table).
And MEES analysis suggests that the situation is going to get worse with the country on course to rack up a $20bn deficit for the year as a whole.
The collapse of Algeria’s trade balance is inevitable given the slump in global oil prices since mid-2014. Two thirds of Algeria’s export revenue by value comes from oil exports, around 30% from gas and a mere 3-4% from all other sources combined. Export revenue for the first seven months was just $22.9bn, down 40.4% on a year earlier, with oil and gas receipts falling by 42.1% to $21.6bn.
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