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Commercial activity: the slowness of formalities hampers the national market



Commercial activity in Algeria suffers from several obstacles, including the « slowness » of formalities for the acquisition of goods, particularly for the wholesale market, according to a survey of opinion carried out by the ONS in the first quarter of 2019.

The same survey, targeting a merchant population of wholesalers and retailers, also cites the barriers of « unavailability » of products and « distance » from sources of supply.

Nearly half of the wholesalers and retailers in the sample complained about the unavailability of products, the survey says, noting that more than 65% of wholesalers describe the procurement process as « too slow » and at the same time complain about the « distance » of the sources of supply.

This situation has led, according to almost 15% of the wholesalers and retailers surveyed, to « stock-outs » that have affected the availability of certain goods on the national market.

The most affected merchants are those who activate in the wholesale and retail sale of raw materials, semi-finished products, drugstore-hardware, household appliances and perfumeries (DQAEMP).

The vast majority of wholesalers and almost 10% of retailers have sourced from the private sector only in the first three months of the year, said the same source.

In addition, more than 20% of wholesalers and more than 10% of retailers say they have sourced from both the public and private sectors, particularly agri-food, raw material and semi-finished products and DQAEMP.

The ONS, however, estimated that despite this situation, commercial activity had « improved » for retail traders, mainly for agribusiness and fuels and lubricants, after suffering a decline in the fourth quarter of 2018 .

As for the purchase price of products, they are considered « high » according to more than 20% of wholesalers and more than 15% of retailers.

The most affected by this increase in tariffs are the active traders in the food industry, machinery and equipment equipment and those of the DQAEMP.

On the other hand, the rest of the traders surveyed find the prices « stable ».

For demand for manufactured products, it rose, according to retail traders, especially those of the agri-food and fuel, while it has experienced a « withdrawal » according to wholesalers. This is mainly the case for the raw materials, semi-finished products and machinery and equipment equipment sectors.

According to more than 25% of wholesalers and nearly 20% of retailers, sales prices are « high » compared to the last quarter of 2018, particularly those of agribusiness and DQAEMP.

As for their financial situation, the majority of surveyed traders (wholesalers and retailers) consider that it is « good ».

Nearly 24% of wholesalers and almost 5% of retailers say they use bank loans without finding « difficulties in contracting them ».

Forecasts, for the next few months, wholesalers predict a « decline » in their activity, unlike retailers who expect an « improvement ».

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