Another year, another hefty trade deficit for Algeria. Preliminary 2020 export stats set out by the trade ministry indicate a deficit of $10.6bn for 2020, the fourth highest figure on record and up over 70% on 2019’s $6.1bn. This means that Algeria has now recorded six straight trade deficits totaling a whopping $66bn since crude prices headed south in late 2014 (see chart 1).
Other oil exporters were forced to adopt emergency measures when the Covid-19 pandemic saw prices and demand collapse in March last year. But Algeria has never come close to exiting crisis mode since 2014. Even then, on the back of three years of blowout spending as Algiers sought to head off Arab Spring ‘contagion’, Algeria only just managed to notch up a trade surplus despite crude prices averaging almost $100/B. (CONTINUED - 1527 WORDS)