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Saudi Arabian ban on Lebanese imports stressful for already struggling sector

A diplomatic dispute between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia has prompted Riyadh to ban Lebanese imports, which is going to hit the Lebanese agricultural sector particularly hard. As Lebanese growers annually export 100,000 tons of fruits and vegetables -worth $24 million- to Saudi Arabia, this now hangs in the balance for those growers, who are already reeling from an domestic economic collapse.

At the end of October, the Lebanese Information Minister, George Kordahi, condemned the Saudi Arabian-led war in Yemen. Riyadh responded by recalling its ambassador and banning Lebanese goods. The UAE and Kuwait have also recalled their ambassadors. It is not yet clear if the two Gulf countries may also follow Riyadh in banning Lebanese products.

Saudi Arabia is one of Lebanon's largest trade partners, accounting for 6.92% of exports in 2019, worth $282 million, according to Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) data.


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