2 Feb 2023 13:16

Algeria nearly quadruples Russian wheat imports to 1.3 mln t in 2022 - Agroexport

MOSCOW. Feb 2 (Interfax) - Algeria increased imports of Russian wheat by 290% to almost 1.3 million tonnes in 2022 from 330,000 tonnes in 2021, the Russian Agriculture Ministry's Agroexport Center said, citing preliminary data from the Federal Customs Service.

The wheat imports also rose by 290% in value and Algeria became one of the top five buyers of Russian wheat for the year.

"Russia began supplying wheat to Algeria in June 2021 after a five-year break, and since then it has rapidly increased the pace of shipments. While before Algeria was a 'home' market for wheat from France, now Russia has become an important supplier. Russian wheat wins competition with European grain by price and fully satisfies our Algerian partners in quality," the CEO of the Grain Exporters Union, Eduard Zernin was quoted as saying in the press release.

Algeria is one of the world's leading grain importers, he recalled. The country bought 8.3 million tonnes of wheat on the world market in the 2021/2022 agricultural year, and its imports are also expected to exceed 8 million tonnes in 2022/2023, Zernin said.

Russian soybean exports to Algeria rose by 25% to 191,000 tonnes in 2022, with revenue from these exports jumping 45%. "Thanks to such growth, Algeria remains the leader among importers of Russian soybean oil for the second consecutive year: it accounts for almost 30% of foreign sales. Last year 4,000 tonnes of sunflower and 3,000 tonnes of rapeseed oil were also supplied to the Algerian market," the statement said.

"Soybean oil is a staple product for Algerians and its consumption is growing steadily. Thanks to convenient logistics, Russia has every possibility to meet this demand and in recent years it has been the largest supplier of soybean oil to the Algerian market," oil and fat industry analyst Ilya Ilyushin said.

Russia also increased exports of dried chickpeas, potato flakes and granules, and millet to Algeria in 2022, by 180% to 9,400 tonnes, 10 times to 460 tonnes and 23 times to 1,300 tonnes (from 56 tonnes), respectively.

The overall value of Russian agricultural exports to Algeria doubled in 2022 for the second consecutive year. Actual figures were not provided.

In the next few years, the main promising products for export to Algeria are vegetable oils (soybean and sunflower), grains, grain legumes and yeast, among others, the center said.

Algeria's imports of agribusiness products grew by 17% to $9.7 billion in 2021, ITC Trade Map data showed. The largest imports by value were wheat with $2.3 billion, powdered milk with $1.2 billion, corn with $823 million, soybean oil with $818 million, and beet and cane sugar with $777 million. Algeria is among the world's top ten importers of wheat, soybean oil and sugar, and is the second largest importer of powdered milk.