Official statistics reveal that 956,000 tons of food products were exported from Saudi Arabia during the year 2000. This figure reflects a ten percent rise in the volume of food imports, compared to the previous year of 1999, when such exports totaled 868,000 tons.
However, in terms of value, Saudi Arabia recorded a nearly four percent decrease in food exports. In 2000, SR 1.7 billion ($453 million) worth of food commodities were exported, whereas during the previous year such exports amounted to SR1.768 billion, according to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily.
Food commodities imported into Saudi Arabia rose 17.6 percent in value during the same period. Saudis imported 25 million tons of food, valued at an estimated SR 12 billion in 2000. In comparison, 24.2 million tons of food products were imported to the Kingdom in 1999, valued SR 10.2 billion.
Thus, whereas the food trade deficit stood at SP 8.432 billion in 1999, it rose to SP 10.3 billion the following year, rising over 22 percent. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )