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Saudi Arabia

King Abdullah Chair to monitor food prices

To keep prices of essential food items at reasonable levels, the King Abdullah Chair for Food Security at the King Saud University in Riyadh will shortly start monitoring them, said its head Khalid Al-Ruwais.
“The chair has signed an agreement with the Food Security Committee at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry to establish a center to monitor price fluctuations of strategic foods over the next 10 years,” Al-Ruwais said in a statement quoted by Al-Sharq daily yesterday. The center will start working by the end of August, after the month of Ramadan.
It will monitor the international markets for strategic commodities and also the prices at local markets.
Al-Ruwais said the world index of the Food and Agricultural Organization for strategic food items is falling. “The prices of items such as sugar, grains and meat must have fallen at most local market as well. But the opposite is happening in the Kingdom,” he said.
Private agents and distributors control the import of food commodities.
“Distributors and retailers are responsible for price hikes. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Consumer Protection Society should double their efforts to check price manipulations, particularly before the arrival of Ramadan,” he said.
He attributed the rising prices in the Kingdom's markets — while prices are falling in the exporting countries — to the government’s lack of control on traders who manipulate prices.

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