Irish dairy in Algeria: The numbers…
Reporting from Algiers, Algeria.
Algeria is Africa’s largest country with a population of 41 million people, with this figure expected to rise by 10 million people in the next 10 years.
Algeria is only 40% self-sufficient in dairy, but is the world’s third largest importer of Whole Milk Powder (WMP) – after China and Mexico – and the 12th largest cheddar importer.
In the last decade, dairy imports to North Africa have grown by almost 50%, with Algeria and Egypt accounting for 75% of the total import figure.
As a destination for Irish dairy ingredient exports, demand in Algeria has doubled in value the last five years, delivering €50 million (department of agriculture figures) of sales across cheese, Skim Milk Powder (SMP) and WMP in 2018.
In 2019, total Irish exports to the North African country reached €54.4 million (Bord Bia) and, of that, dairy exports accounted for €54.1 million.
This week’s trade mission to the country is aimed at providing more opportunities for Irish dairy ingredients through technical seminars and business-to-business meetings for Irish dairy exporters.
Ireland is also the largest supplier of cheddar cheese to the Algerian market and 9,776t of cheese was exported in 2018 – valued at €32 million. 2019 witnessed continued growth with exports reaching just under €35 million (11,659t).
Algerian domestic cheese production is forecast to reach 22,000t by 2024 and imports could potentially grow by 20% to 31,000t.
Irish SMP exports to Algeria have shown strong growth, rising by 37% in 2018; in 2019, SMP exports again rose significantly, increasing in value to €9.1 million.
However, in 2018, Ireland exported €7.9 million in WMP to Algeria – a 64% decline from 2017. During 2019, a continued decline in WMP exports was witnessed – valued at €4.8 million.
Ireland exported €2 million worth of casein in 2018 – a 24% decline from 2017. Volumes decreased by 4.6% in 2018 to 512t. But, in 2019, full year estimates show a recovery with the value of exports rising by 33.3% to €2.4 million.
In Algeria, market demand is predominantly for powders reconstituted into drinking milk, with a 120L per capita dairy consumption vs. 140L per capita in Ireland.