March 21, 2018 / 8:39 AM / 2 years ago

Algeria's trade deficit drops in Jan-Feb 2018-customs

ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria’s trade deficit fell to $97 million in the first two months of 2018, versus $2.33 billion in the same period last year, data released by customs showed on Wednesday.

The decline of more than 50 percent is mainly due to a rise in energy earnings as oil prices have risen. Oil and gas exports were up 25 percent to $7.1 billion in January and February, in comparison with $5.67 billion in the same period last year, the customs data showed.

OPEC member Algeria relies heavily on oil and gas, which account for 60 percent of the budget and 95 percent of total export revenues.

The recent recovery of oil revenues has provided some relief for a government that saw its revenues badly hit by the crash of hydrocarbon prices after mid-2014.

Imports were down 10 percent to $7.2 billion, versus $8 billion in the same period last year.

Reporting by Lamine Chikhi; Editing by Aidan Lewis

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