In recent weeks, the price of bananas has peaked. At 650 dinars per kilogram, some traders do not even bother offering bananas, which gave ideas to smugglers…
In Tunisia, bananas cost only 4 Tunisian dinars at wholesale prices, or 170 Algerian dinars. By selling them 650 dinars per kilogram on the Algerian market, the capital gain is considerable, and this fraudulent technique is not new. Indeed, in the interval between the ban on the import of this fruit in 2016 and the issuance of the first licenses in April 2017, smugglers had resorted to the same process. At the time bananas had reached a record price of 1,000 dinars per kilogram.
This situation resulted from illegally maintaining the monopoly created by the management measures after the lifting thereof, by requiring importers to obtain a document entitled "prior authorization for importing agricultural products", a phytosanitary certificate issued by the Ministry of Agriculture.
It's really about quotas. Only a few importers obtain permits for importing large quantities (2,000 tons or more). The Ministry of Agriculture refuses to explain these inequalities. The import is actually restricted and operators take an exorbitant margin, more than 400 or 500 dinars on a single kilogram.
This surge in banana prices on the Algerian market seems unjustified, especially since the lifting of the quota and licensing system should logically lead to their decline. The Ministry of Agriculture has been called upon to explain the granting of these authorizations, which some importers consider to be a new form of monopoly.
Those who suffer the most are obviously the consumers who pay 650 dinars for a product that should normally cost 200 to 500 dinars per kilogram at most.
Source: TSA Algeria