Can anyone explain to me why Algeria, a country of 40 million people is importing almost half as much milk powder as China?

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Turkey has 80 million people yet it apparently doesn't import milk powder, or very little. Likewise for Libya, which is right next to Algeria, although it has only 6 million people. Egypt has about 100 million people and is similar to Algeria in some respects, yet it imports no milk powder.

  • $\begingroup$ Because Turkish economy depends on mostly agriculture and animal husbandary especially in previous times. So it is not correct to compare Turkish economy with others in terms of agriculture and husbandary. $\endgroup$
    – none009
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 2:43
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That table does not cover all importers, just the ones that USDA has given 2018 figures for. The EU (looking at Jan-Feb 2018) has data for others such as the Philippines, Malaysia and Mexico and I suspect they too have missed many countries $\endgroup$
    – Henry
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 8:06

2 Answers 2


To complement WorldGov's great points, there are milk subsidies provided in Algeria, which might have been abused for re-sale in other countries:

[These measures of “market saturation” will be accompanied by] “the firm application of the law against all the authors of diversion of milk powder heavily subsidised by the state for the benefit of consumers.”



Four-fifths of Algeria is just desert --which leaves no room for agriculture. The Algerian economy is mostly powered just by the oil industry, which contribute about ~70% of government revenues. Oil and oil related products constitute more than 80% of Algeria's exports.

For example, Turkey has twice the population of Algeria but it has more than 7.5 times the cattle Algeria has. (14.2 in Turkey vs 1.6 in Algeria). So the short answer is that Algeria isn't just suited for Agriculture.


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