Algeria’s gas exports rose 5.5% in 1H17. With higher prices its deficit halved. But soaring demand is cutting into exports as prices ease. With Algiers still on track for an $11bn trade deficit, the third highest ever, its politicians must be worried.

Algeria’s first half trade figures present a positive picture, at least compared to the disaster years of 2015 and 2016, when the country notched up trade deficits of $17.0bn and $17.8bn respectively, the two highest figures on...