ALGIERS: Algeria’s 2015 grain imports rose 11.2 percent to 13.67 million tons despite efforts to curb purchases from abroad, official data showed. One of the world’s largest grain importers, Algeria wants to trim imports as low crude oil prices hurt state coffers.
Soft wheat imports rose 24 percent to 6.74 million tons, while durum wheat purchases fell 10.8 percent to 1.76 million tons, customs figures showed. Barley imports dropped 2.6 percent to 750,025 tons, while maize purchases rose 7.5 percent to 4.41 million tons.
The overall value of grain imports fell 3.14 percent to $3.43 billion due to lower prices. Agriculture Minister Sid Ahmed Ferroukhi last week said domestic cereal output reached 3.77 million tons in 2015, up from 3.4 million. The minister said Algeria planned to increase output to 6.3 million tons this year through better-quality seeds, improved technology and incentives for farmers.