Trade and industry in Algeria

Trade and industry in Algeria Last updated on Monday 19th April 2010

Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, oats, grapes, olives, citrus, fruits; sheep, cattle

Exports: $13.7 billion (estimation of 1999)

Exports - commodities: petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products 97%

Exports - partners: Italy 21.2%, US 15.0%, France 12.9%, Spain 10.3%, Brazil 5.9%, Netherlands 5.5% (1998)

Imports: $9.3 billion (estimation of 1999)

Imports - commodities: capital goods, food and beverages, consumer goods

Imports - partners: France 29.5%, Italy 9.8%, US 7.2%, Spain 6.8%, Germany 6.2%, Canada 4.1% (1998)

Debt - external: $30 billion (estimation of 1999)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Almost two-thirds of all Algeria's export trade is with European Union countries; the United States and Japan take much of the remainder. Annual exports during the early 1990s amounted to about $11.6 billion, mostly in the form of petroleum, natural gas and lubricants, while imports totaled about $8.2 billion.

The sale of natural gas and petroleum provided Algeria with 87% of its foreign exchange earnings during 1992. Petroleum and natural gas industries generated 38.1% of the government's income and contributed about 17.7% of the country's Gross Domestic Product. However, with only 9,200 million barrels of proven reserves, Algeria's petroleum will be depleted within 21 years and the government has emphasized the exploitation of its natural gas reserves which, as of 1993, were 3,600 million cubic metres and estimated to last for 71 years. Algeria has developed a petrochemical and refining industry based in Arzew, ::I and Skikda, but thus far these projects have been costly and inefficient and have yet to contribute to the economy in a significant way.

The mining industry contributes 17% to Algeria's GDP. Mineral production includes mercury, iron ore, phosphates, zinc, silver, gypsum, and barite. The manufacturing industry contributes 14% to the GDP and includes construction materials (cement, bricks, structural steel), steel production, automobile manufacturing and consumer goods manufacturing.

The centrally controlled Algerian government has a large service sector encompassing industries like water supply, sewage, telecommunications and transport. Much of Algeria's financial resources have been channeled toward non-commercial projects and to finance a bloated socialist military and civilian bureaucracy. The services industry sector comprises 36% of the GDP.

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