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Algeria to Eliminate Banana Import Licenses

30.11.2018

According to recent data, Algerians consume a quantity of 220,000 to 250,000 tons of bananas per year, with an average value of US$140 million.

"We welcome, with great satisfaction, the recent government decision to eliminate banana import licenses." With these words, the president of the National Association of Traders and Craftsmen (ANCA) welcomed this measure, which according to the association will put an end to speculation on this product, which price has reached thresholds far exceeding the purchasing power of the citizens.

Speaking at a press conference in Said-Hamdine (Algiers), El-Hadj Tahar Boulenouar said that this measure opens the field to all economic operators who have ripening and cold storage, according to the criteria of the Ministry of Commerce, to import this product, stating that currently only five operators import bananas.

He revealed that during the year 2017-2018, more than 40 operators filed license applications to import this product. As for the price of bananas, the president of the ANCA says that it is currently between 500 and 550 dinars per kilo, at wholesale markets, while its price should not exceed 300 dinars, with the profit margin of the retailer.

"Through the elimination of import licenses, we should expect a significant decrease in price, which will also have an impact on the prices of other fruits that will most probably be revised downwards," he estimated, saying that Algerians consume annually a quantity of 220,000 to 250,000 tons of bananas, an average value of US$140 million. "Every citizen consumes an average of 5 kg of bananas a year," he said.

This meeting, which was attended by agents representing several wholesale markets, was used to discuss the current situation of wholesale markets that are managed by CPAs.

The Minister of Commerce, Said Djelllab said that since November 26th licenses or quotas for importing bananas have been eliminated. "It is now a free trade subject to compliance with international rules and the payment of customs duties and taxes," he continued. He believes that this decision is fairer for competition which, according to him, should stabilize the market returning to a price of around 250 dinars per kilo against the current nearly 800 dinars.

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