September 21, 2015 / 1:42 PM / 4 years ago

Algeria Jan-Aug trade deficit at over $9 bln-customs

ALGIERS, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Algeria posted a trade deficit of $9.06 billion in the first eight months of 2015, reversing a $4.32 billion surplus a year earlier, after a sharp fall in energy earnings because of the oil price drop, official data showed on Monday.

The deficit pushed down the coverage of imports by exports to 74 percent from 111 percent in the January-August period of 2014, according to customs figures.

Oil and gas exports, which accounted for 94.5 percent of total sales abroad, fell 41.10 percent to $24.91 billion in the first eight months of this year, the data showed.

The value of overall exports during the period dropped 39.7 percent year-on-year to $26.36 billion, while imports fell 10.02 percent to $35.42 billion.

The government has been trying to reduce its import bill after the oil price slide, which it expects to cause a 50 percent drop in energy earnings this year. (Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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