ALGERIA – The Algerian Association of Banks and Financial Institutions (ABEF) has issued authorization for the import of chicken from Spain, marking a significant step in thawing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The circular, dated January 14, permits the import of poultry inputs, including breeding chicks, laying chicks, and hatching eggs from Spain, which used to represent 60% of Algeria’s chicken consumption before trade relations were disrupted due to a diplomatic crisis.

This move follows the resumption of trade relations between Algeria and Spain, which had been at a standstill since June 2022.

The diplomatic crisis arose when Spain expressed support for the autonomy of Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony and a territory to be decolonized according to the United Nations.

The employers’ association is now waiting for banking entities and ministries to implement the authorization. Users have been urged to proceed with domiciliation, a mandatory procedure in Algeria for importing goods.

The authorization comes in the wake of other measures aimed at stabilizing the local poultry market.

The Algerian government approved the purchase of poultry from Spain, allowing specialist importers to transport 400,000 laying hens per month from Spain to address rising chicken meat prices in the local market.

This decision aims to regulate the market ahead of the Ramadan period, during which consumption of white meat traditionally increases.

President Abdelmajid Tebboune stated that the poultry import operation would continue until market stability is ensured.

In addition to the imports from Spain, two local operators are expected to supply 300,000 laying hens per month to support the domestic poultry industry.

Spain was chosen as the main supplier because it produces the “COBB 500” strain, meeting the standards and requirements of Algerian poultry farms.

Spain was the primary supplier of live poultry to Algeria, accounting for approximately 53% of shipments by value at the end of 2022.

The thaw in diplomatic relations between Algeria and Spain began with the appointment of a new ambassador to Spain in November 2023.

The resumption of trade and import authorizations signal a positive development in the diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Spanish Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, welcomed the news and highlighted the importance of normalizing diplomatic relations for Spanish exporters.

He expressed hope that Spanish exporters could regain access to the Algerian market, a traditionally significant market for the poultry sector and other industries.

 

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