Algeria’s energy earnings dropped by nearly 41% in 2015, leading to a trade deficit of $13.71b – far from the $4.3b surplus of 2014, according to the Algerian Finance Ministry, Africa News reported. Due to low oil prices and declining production, the country’s energy income reached $35.72b in total in 2015, down from $60.3b the year before.
Oil and gas revenues constitute 95% of Algerian exports and 60% of the country’s budget, making low prices a serious issue. According to the report, the country is considering raising taxes, import duties and introducing subsidy cuts to tackle its budget difficulties – following moves made across the region to build more conservative government budgets amid low energy prices.
The government has also sought to attract greater foreign investment in the country’s energy fields, but bid rounds in recent years have been disappointing.