ALGIERS  - Algeria's trade deficit fell to $856 million in the first four months after $3.87 billion in the same period last year, customs data released showed on Monday.

The sharp decline is mainly due to a rise in energy earnings as oil prices have risen.

Oil and gas exports were up 18.6 percent to $14.36 billion in the four first months of 2018 versus $12.11 billion in the same period last year, the customs data showed.

OPEC member Algeria relies heavily on oil and gas, which account for 60 percent of the budget and 95 percent of total export revenues.

(Reporting by Lamine Chikhi Editing by Ulf Laessing and Louise Heavens) ((; Reuters Messaging: follow me on twitter @ulflaessing))