The Saudi decision to ban the import of fruits and vegetables from Lebanon has had both direct and indirect impacts. The decision will contribute to Lebanon incurring losses exceeding SR126 million (€28 mln), as the produce was the second-highest products being exported to Saudi Arabia (after precious metals and precious stones).
Lebanese fruits exports to Saudi Arabia registered a sharp rise in 2019, compared to previous years, as the value of exports in 2018 reached about SR65 million and in 2019 they jumped by 93.85 percent to reach SR126 million.
Lettuce is considered to be the highest among fruits and vegetables exported by Lebanon to Saudi Arabia, as it reached 7,990 tons with a value of SR37.49 million, followed by 15.16 tons grapes with a value of SR30.85 million. These two products were followed by 15,840 tons oranges with a value of SR24.1 million, 9,090 tons of apples with a value of SR12.98 million, followed by the import of potatoes which occupied the fifth place with approximately 7,500 tons with a value of SR10.44 million.
Saudigazette.com.sa reports that tangerines occupied the sixth place with 4,400 tons worth SR7.28 million. Meanwhile, the import of peaches from Lebanon reached 2,240 tons with a value of SR5.29 million. The import of lemons from Lebanon reached 1,560 tons with a value of SR2.64 million, and apricot imports from Lebanon reached 634 tons with a value of SR2.17 million.
Lebanon urges Saudi Arabia to lift ban
Yesterday, Lebanon urged Saudi Arabia to rethink a ban on Lebanese fruit and vegetable imports, a day after the suspension came into force. Riyadh on Friday announced the suspension of the fresh produce shipments from Lebanon, saying they were being used to hide drugs and accusing Beirut of inaction.
According to macaubusiness.com, Lebanese President Michel Aoun headed a meeting Monday to discuss the ban. “Those attending hoped Saudi Arabia would review the decision to forbid Lebanese agricultural products entry to Saudi Arabia,” the presidency said in a statement afterwards.
[ SR1 = €0.22 ]