Algeria H1 trade deficit up on lower energy earnings

ALGIERS, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Algeria’s trade deficit rose 12% in the first half of 2019 from the same period a year ago after a 6.30% fall in energy revenues, official data showed on Tuesday.

Oil and gas exports, which accounted for 93.10 % of total sales abroad, reached $17.65 billion, down from $18.84 billion in the January-June 2018, according to customs figures.

That pushed up the trade deficit to $3.18 billion from $2.84 billion in the first six months of 2018.

The overall value of exports reached $18.96 billion against $20.29 billion in the first half of 2018, while imports fell 4.30% to $22.14 billion in the first half of this year.

The government has been trying to reduce imports by imposing restrictions for some products in a bid to cut spending after a drop in energy earnings over the past years. (Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Angus MacSwan)