Algeria Remains Africa’s Largest Food Importer

ALGERIA - Algeria is the largest importer of agricultural goods in Africa, making it an attractive market, holding immense potential, according to James O’Donnell, Director Emerging Markets, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board.
calendar icon 17 October 2011
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Food imports are estimated to amount to $3.3b – 15 per cent of the overall import bill.

The European Union (EU) is the main supplier to the Algerian market.

Of all Algeria's agricultural and food imports, 44 per cent originate in European countries.

France accounts for most of this as the country has maintained lasting ties with Algeria, built on shared historical and cultural experiences.

A large number of North Africans live in France, and French is the primary language in Algeria. The other principal European suppliers include Germany and the United Kingdom.

Algeria is the second largest importer of whole milk powder in the world with some 163,000 tonnes imported in 2009 and the fourth largest importer of skim milk powder with some 95,000 tonnes of imports. It is also a significant importer of cheese for processed cheese manufacture.

Algeria has considerable beef import requirement estimated between 55 – 65,000 tonnes annually.

Imports are a combination of private operators, and Government purchases carried out by the state organisation Ste. SOTRACOV.

Army purchases are normally undertaken by a tender process issued by the army but managed by SOTRACOV. In addition the Government intervenes from time to time to control food inflation and will purchase beef for release on the domestic market.

In recent years Brazil has been the main beef supplier accounting for 80 per cent of imports in 2009. India gained market access in 2010 and supplied 25 per cent of the import requirement reducing Brazil’s market share to 62 per cent. The remaining balance is sourced in EU countries.

Ireland’s exports to Algeria were €39 million in 2010, rising by more than 77 per cent on 2009 levels. Dairy products represent more than 95 per cent of the total.

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