Algeria On Track For $11bn Deficit Despite Gas Export Boost

Algeria’s gas exports rose 5.5% in 1H17. With higher prices its deficit halved. But soaring demand is cutting into exports as prices ease. With Algiers still on track for an $11bn trade deficit, the third highest ever, its politicians must be worried.

Algeria’s first half trade figures present a positive picture, at least compared to the disaster years of 2015 and 2016, when the country notched up trade deficits of $17.0bn and $17.8bn respectively, the two highest figures on record (MEES, 20 January). The first half of 2017 saw a trade deficit of ‘only’ $4.85bn, less than half the H1 2016 figure, on the back of gas exports which rose by 5.5% to 27.3bcm, and this from 2016 levels which were already at a six-year high (MEES, 7 April).

GAS OUTPUT UP, OIL PRICES UP

The key H1 2017 volume boost came from In Amenas, boosted by last July’s restart of the third train (badly damaged in a January 2013 terrorist attack) followed by the November completion of a $700mn compression project. Output hit 9bcm/year capacity in Q2 for the first time since Q1 2011.


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