Huge potential for Vietnam to boost exports to Algeria

Wednesday, 2020-03-18 16:09:35
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Rice is among Vietnam's goods items with high export potential to the Algerian market.
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NDO – There remains huge room for Vietnam to further export some goods, such as coffee, rice, cassava starch and fruits, to the Algerian market in the near future, according to the Vietnamese trade mission in Algeria.

Coffee is a favorite drink of Algerians, with each person consuming an average of over 3kg of coffee a year. Annually, Algeria imports about 130,000 tonnes of coffee beans of different types worth US$300 million.

Vietnam is a major coffee exporter to Algeria, alongside the Ivory Coast, Indonesia, Brazil and Italy. For many years, coffee has been Vietnam’s leading export item to the North African country. Vietnam’s coffee market share has been maintained at the highest level, over 50%. In 2019, Vietnam exported 69,405 tonnes of coffee to Algeria, raking in revenue of US$110.65 million.

The trade mission has evaluated that Algeria is still a potent market for Vietnamese coffee, and in the future, coffee will remain Vietnam’s key export product to this market. Apart from raw coffee, Vietnamese businesses can boost exports of processed and soluble coffee which boast higher added value.

In addition, Algeria does not produce rice itself, so it is almost 100% imported by the country. Specifically, Algeria imports about 100,000 tonnes of rice a year, accounting for more than 1% of its food consumption structure.

Last year, Vietnam’s rice exports to Algeria reached 16,394 tonnes (about 16% of the total volume), with a turnover of US$6.28 million, up 20.8% year on year. Given this fact, the Vietnamese trade mission believes that Algeria still remains a promising market for Vietnamese rice as people there are used to consuming it. Besides this, the number of Asian workers, especially Chinese, in Algeria is increasing. Particularly, more than 1,000 Vietnamese employees are working for Chinese, Japanese, French and local contractors, which is expected to raise the demand for Vietnamese rice in the Algerian market.

Algeria’s demand for importing spices, especially pepper, is quite high, with its pepper import spend reaching around US$30 million in 2018. Last year, Vietnam only exported 992 tonnes of pepper to the North African country with a value of US$2.16 million, which was mainly due to lower prices, Algerian importers abandoning and refusing to take the goods at the destination port, and fierce competition from Indian and Pakistani products. However, the outlook for Vietnam’s pepper exports to Algeria is predicted to improve in the years ahead thanks to increasing demand and the fact that pepper is outside the list of goods subject to safeguarding duties.

Vietnam’s fruit exports (mainly cashew nuts) to Algeria saw a more than twofold increase from US$1.1 million in 2018 to US$2.5 million in 2019. So far, items such as dragon fruit, longan and litchi from Vietnam and other countries have not been present in this market due to the distance involved as well as differences in consumer tastes. Therefore, fruit exports to Algeria are also a potential area that could be further targeted by Vietnamese firms in the near future.