Consumers in Algeria are paying 21 percent more for chicken in August than a year ago while the poultry industry remains dependent on imported corn.
According to the Algerian press service, APS, annual inflation was 5.1 percent in August, continuing a rising trend over recent months.
For the first 8 months of 2015, average food inflation has been 5 percent. Poultry meat has risen by 8.5 percent, while lamb and beef prices have increased more slowly than the average. Compared to July, poultry meat was almost 18 percent more expensive in August.
Meanwhile, egg prices have been falling in Algeria – down 14.6 percent for the month and 8.5 percent for the year so far.
Algeria has recently reported an increase in its grain harvest this year, while imports were also higher.
According to a new report from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), Algeria is dependent on imports for its corn requirements, with purchases rising from around 2.8 million metric tons (mt) in 2010 to 4.1 million mt in 2014.
“This is an important North African market for U.S. corn,” commented Cary Sifferath, USGC senior director of global programs. “Algerian poultry farmers, the majority end-user of imported corn, have a preference for Argentinian corn with a red tinge to the kernel color. So Algerian importers will buy Argentine corn even when it doesn’t have a price advantage, and there are complaints about quality, especially excessive dust in U.S. corn. At current prices, however, U.S. corn is getting back into the mix, and the Council is working hard to address the quality issues.”
The U.S. exported just 64,426 mt of corn to Algeria in 2010, and none in the following 3 years. However, in 2014, they rebounded to more than 76,000 mt and tripled to more than 238,000 mt in the first half of calendar year 2015.