A country located on North Africa’s Mediterranean coast, Algeria shipped an estimated US$34.7 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a -0.1% decrease since 2015 and a -17.6% drop from 2018 to 2019.
Based on the latest available data from 2017, 81.7% of products exported from Algeria were bought by importers in: Italy (16% of its global total), France (12.6%), Spain (11.7%), United States (9.9%), Brazil (6%), Netherlands (5.4%), Turkey (5.2%), United Kingdom (4.6%), Portugal (2.7%), Belgium (2.6%), South Korea (2.5%) and India (also 2.5%).
From a continental perspective, 58.2% of Algeria’s exports by value were delivered to European countries while 17.1% were sold to importers in Asia. Algeria shipped another 11.8% worth of goods to North America. Smaller percentages went to Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (7.2%), Africa (5.3%) then Oceania mostly Australia (0.5%).
Given Algeria’s population of about 43.4 million people, its total $34.7 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $800 for every resident in the northern African country.
Algeria’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Algerian global shipments during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Algeria.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$32.5 billion (93.6% of total exports)
- Fertilizers: $850.1 million (2.4%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $501.6 million (1.4%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $137.2 million (0.4%)
- Iron, steel: $129.2 million (0.4%)
- Fruits, nuts: $102.2 million (0.3%)
- Machinery including computers: $76 million (0.2%)
- Sugar, sugar confectionery: $62.5 million (0.2%)
- Organic chemicals: $37.9 million (0.1%)
- Fish: $28.4 million (0.1%)
Algeria’s top 10 exports accounted for 99.2% of the overall value of its global shipments.
Iron and steel represent the fastest grower among the top 10 export categories, up by 134.7% from 2018 to 2019. In second place for improving export sales was salt, sulphur, stone and cement via a 19.7% gain. Algeria’s shipments of organic chemicals posted the third-fastest uptick in value up by 13.8%.
The leading decliner among Algeria’s top 10 export categories was sugar including sugar confectionery, thanks to a -48.6% drop year over year.
From the more granular four-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, crude oil represents Algeria’s most valuable exported product at 43.2% of the country’s total. In second place was petroleum gases (30.5%) trailed by refined petroleum oils (19.9%), nitrogenous fertilizers (2.4%), ammonia (1%) then hydrogen and rare gases (0.4%).
The following types of Algerian product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.
In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.
- Mineral fuels including oil: US$30.2 billion (Down by -17.5% since 2018)
- Fertilizers: $735.7 million (Down by -5.2%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $344.4 million (Down by -27.4%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $25.9 million (Up by 2033.5%)
- Cork , articles of cork: $8.9 million (Up by 10.2%)
- Raw hides, skins not furskins, leather: $8.2 million (Down by -49.7%)
- Wool: $2.5 million (Down by -5.8%)
- Lead: $207,000 (Down by -91.8%)
- Collector items, art, antiques: $10,000 (Down by -95.8%)
Algeria has positive net exports in the international trade of petroleum gases and petroleum oils. In turn, these cashflows indicate Algeria’s strong competitive advantages under the mineral fuels including oil product category.
Overall Algeria incurred a -$5.7 billion deficit for all products traded during 2019, down by -19.6% from -$7.1 billion in red ink one year earlier.
Below are exports from Algeria that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Algeria’s goods trail Algerian importer spending on foreign products.
- Machinery including computers: -US$5.8 billion (Down by -17% since 2018)
- Vehicles: -$3.3 billion (Down by -26.9%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: -$2.7 billion (Down by -12.5%)
- Cereals: -$2.2 billion (Down by -17.8%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$1.9 billion (Down by -12.3%)
- Pharmaceuticals: -$1.6 billion (Down by -7.3%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$1.6 billion (Down by -10.3%)
- Iron, steel: -$1.2 billion (Down by -30.5%)
- Dairy, eggs, honey: -$1.1 billion (Down by -12.9%)
- Optical, technical, medical apparatus: -$801.6 million (Down by -11.5%)
As technology becomes increasingly important to the global economy, Algeria maintains highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the machinery including computers category.
Algerian Export Companies
Not one Algerian corporation ranks among Forbes Global 2000.
Wikipedia lists exports-related companies from Algeria. Selected examples are shown below:
- Asmidal (chemicals)
- Cevital (food, glass, home appliances)
- Hamoud Boualem (soft drinks)
- Naftal (oil equipment, services)
- Saidal (pharmaceuticals)
- Sonatrach (oil, gas)
In macroeconomic terms, Algeria’s total exported goods represent 5.1% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2019 ($681.4 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 5.1% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2019 compares to 6.3% for 2018. Those metrics suggest a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Algeria’s total economic performance albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Algeria’s average unemployment rate was 12.472% for 2019 up from 11.731% one year earlier, according to the International Monetary Fund.
Algeria’s capital city is Algiers.
See also South Africa’s Top 10 Exports, Kenya’s Top 10 Exports and Top African Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Africa: Algeria. Accessed on July 12, 2020
FlagPictures.org, Flag of Algeria. Accessed on July 12, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on July 12, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on July 12, 2020
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on July 12, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 12, 2020
Wikipedia, Algeria. Accessed on July 12, 2020
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on July 12, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Algeria. Accessed on July 12, 2020
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on July 12, 2020
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Algiers, Algeria. Accessed on July 12, 2020