Fruit prices up

Saudi Arabia 'needs food pricing index'

A local official in Jeddah has said that Saudi Arabia needs a food pricing index similar to that of the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to ensure that prices are reduced in line with global trends.

Shaker Al-Harthi, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers’ nutrition and catering committee, also called for greater coordination between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) and Saudi Customs, a local newspaper reported Wednesday 27 April. He said a domestic index would allow consumers to make informed decisions before going out to buy food. They would be able to boycott those raising prices unreasonably.

Al-Harthi’s comments come in the wake of a report by the FAO that food prices are expected to fall 16 percent this year compared to 2015, a reference to the global economic downturn and lower energy prices. 

Al-Harthi said that the government must make sure that local merchants also drop their prices in line with the situation on international markets, especially for basic necessities.

He said prices have not dropped locally mainly because many merchants were seeking to maintain profits, and the lack of coordination between the ministry, the SFDA and Saudi Customs. He urged merchants to consider the pockets of citizens. They could still make good profits at lower prices, he said.

Meanwhile, there has been a rise in the prices of fruit, particularly bananas. Saifullah Sharbatly, general manager at Abdullah Sharbatly, the market leader in the supply of fruit and vegetables in Jeddah attributed this rise to a shortage globally, and China buying huge amounts for its market.


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