Monday, 16 September 2013

Algerian border controls to reduce petrol smuggling produce results

Algeria's black-marketeers and their clients in countries like Morocco and Tunisia had realised that there were considerable profits to be made from smuggling cheap Algerian petrol across rather porous land borders. By 2013, the impact of fuel smuggling was being felt, with Algeria's national consumption rocketing for no apparent reason. It was estimated that around 25% of subsidised Algerian hydro-carbons was being taken out of the country illegally, with the State losing around US$1.3 billion in revenue. In the course of summer 2013, the Algerian authorities reinforced border controls. On 8 September, Algeria's Minister of Energy Youcef Yousfi announced that the campaign was beginning to bear fruit. Fuel consumption was down.
In July 2012, consumption increased by 9%; a year later, for the same month, consumption was up by a mere 1.8%, attributable to increased summer traffic on the roads. The Moroccan State also suffered from loss of revenue due to declining fuel sales as well as the safety problem created by large amounts of petrol circulating in plastic barrels and other containers.
For more news and expert analysis about Morocco, please see Morocco Politics & Security.
© 2013 Menas Associates

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