Vietnamese enterprises have an opportunity to increase coffee, seafood and other farm produce exports to Algeria given the high demand for such goods in the North African nation.
According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Algeria, concurrently in charge of trade with Gambia, Mali, Niger and Senegal, Vietnam’s export value to Algeria reached US$82.96 million in the first half of 2020, down 16.4 percent compared to the same period last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, in general, Algerian consumers still favor Vietnamese farm products, such as coffee, pepper, seafood and rice.
Coffee, a staple of the Algerian diet, is Vietnam’s best-seller in Algeria, accounting for 71 percent of Vietnam’s produce export value to this North African market during the January-June period. Algeria imports about 130,000 tonnes of coffee beans of various types each year, with more than half usually supplied by Vietnam.
Algeria, officially People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa on the Mediterranean coast.
In recent years, the number of foreign workers in Algeria has been on the rise, contributing to the growing demand for coffee, especially since the plant cannot be grown indigenously. In 2019, Vietnam exported coffee to 13 African countries raking in US$153 million, with Algeria accounting for US$111 million, mostly in raw unroasted and decaffeinated coffee. Robusta makes up about 80 percent of coffee imports, with Arabica making up the rest.
The Trade Office says that in Algeria, Vietnam’s raw coffee products have to compete with similar products from different countries; canned and instant coffee exports to this market remain modest; and consumers in Algeria want imported instant coffee products to be sweeter and meet halal standards.
Seafood is among Vietnam’s top-five produce exports to Algeria, with an annual turnover of US$9-10 million. Last year, Vietnam exported seafood worth US$11 million to the North African market, mainly Tra fish, Basa fish filet and raw tuna.
Every November, Algeria hosts an international fair for fisheries and aquaculture in Oran. The country continues to urge foreign investors, including Vietnamese enterprises, to cooperate and invest in this field. Algeria’s aquaculture industry, especially freshwater fish, remains underdeveloped, forcing it to import products to meet domestic demands.
Catfish has low cholesterol content and is sold at affordable prices, providing opportunities for Vietnamese seafood products to penetrate the market.
Rice exports to Algeria also hold significant potential once the COVID-19 pandemic is subdued. Algeria mostly depends on rice imports, buying about 100,000 tonnes of the grain annually. In addition, the country’s rice import tariffs are lower compared to those of other countries. The increasing number of Asian workers in Algeria has also prompted a surge in rice demand.
Source: Bao Ngoc (VEN)