The government will subsidise wheat prices from January 2008, Communications Minister Abderrachid Boukerzaza has announced.
Algiers has taken the action in order to offer some protection to the country’s citizens in the face of rising global food prices, the minister said on 18 December following a cabinet meeting earlier that day.
Prices have been set at AD 3,600 ($53.59) a quintal - a measure of wheat in Algiers - for standard wheat and AD 4,000 ($59.54) a quintal for higher quality wheat. The difference between the subsidised price and the global price will be paid for by the government.
Despite a small fall in global wheat prices between October and November, to $332 a tonne, prices have increased more than 50 per cent since this time last year, from $219 a tonne in November 2006. Algeria imports about two thirds of its total wheat consumption.
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