Saudi Arabia to ban import of foreign bees by 2020

Bees from abroad can cause harm by breeding with, attacking or contaminating local strain. (AFP)
Updated 27 January 2018

Saudi Arabia to ban import of foreign bees by 2020

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia last week decided to implement a ban on the import of foreign bees in the next three years.
Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Abdul Rahman Al-Fadli acted against threats that imported bees pose to the local strain.
Beekeepers are threatened by many problems that imported bees bring with them. One of the biggest risks is cross-breeding. If the imported bees are bred with local bees, they will stain the purity.
The beekeepers are afraid that if the cross-breeding continues, the original breed might become extinct.
The Saudi Apis mellifera jemenitica is a breed that can survive in the extreme climatic conditions of Saudi Arabia, which many bees aren’t able to, and produce high-quality honey. They are smaller, slender and yellow in color.
It isn’t just the genetic manipulation; the imported bees attack local bees.
They are also the carriers of diseases that contaminate local bees and cause great loss; beekeepers do not just find a few dead bees when disease spreads — they find hive upon hive empty.
Beekeepers took these problems to the minister of environment and agriculture. The minister held a meeting with the president of Nahali Makkah Society and came up with the solution of entirely banning the import to preserve the bees and prevent extinction.
Consequently, fewer bees will produce less honey, so less honey will be available for selling locally or internationally, which might cause a disruption in the market.
The local honey market in Jeddah, located in Bab Makkah, is one of the largest in the Middle East.
Ten to 15 percent of the honey sold in this market is local; because of its scarce amount, this honey is purer and more expensive than the others.
When we talked to Abu Waheed, a local shop owner, about the effects of the ban on the market, he said: “Honey will become rare; therefore, the price will become much more than it already is. Local honey is 10 percent of my shop and it is three times more expensive than Pakistani, Yemeni or Russian honey.”
He added: “If there are fewer bees producing it, the price will rocket through the sky.”


Concerns rise over fake gold in Saudi Arabia

Local gold markets have seen stagnation in recent times, because of the increasing price of gold on international stock markets. (Photo/Shutterstock)
Updated 22 February 2020

Concerns rise over fake gold in Saudi Arabia

  • Accusations fly as pilgrims targeted by sellers of counterfeit precious metal

JEDDAH: A video posted on Twitter by a member of the Precious Metals Committee explaining the ways some gold manufacturers manipulate weight of gold and diamonds has attracted significant attention in Saudi Arabia, raising the question of the authenticity of gold in the Kingdom.

In the video, Mohammed Azooz said cover-ups have made many Saudi gold sellers lose power over the market, and that industry was being controlled by non-Saudis.
In the video, he explained how some people circumvented customs and sneak gold into the country, especially during the Hajj season to target pilgrims.
The Arabic translation of #cheating_in_jewelry has been trending in Twitter for a few days, and several people posted about the issue, blaming those who were selling fake gold to pilgrims as pure gold.
This is not the first time the fake gold issue has been raised. The World Gold Council previously suspended its activities in the Kingdom following claims that some jewelry manufacturers mixed glass with gold. Former Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Zainal rejected the accusations at the time, described them as “grave and dangerous.”
Local gold markets have seen stagnation in recent times, because of the increasing price of gold on international stock markets.

FASTFACTS

• Types of gold depend on the percentage of gold per kilogram. For example, 24k gold, which is considered the best in quality, is 99 percent gold mixed with 1 percent of precious metal such as silver or copper. This type of gold is considered pure, and not used for adornment.

• For a kilogram of 22k gold, 125 grams of precious metals are added to 875 grams of pure gold; 150 grams of precious metals are added to 850 grams to make a kilogram of 21k gold, and 18k gold has 250 grams of precious metals per kilogram.

The price of one kilogram of 24 karat (k) gold in the Kingdom can reach SR185,000 ($46,700).
Gold and economic experts say that the movement in gold prices depends on numerous factors such as political and economic events around the world, the price of the US dollar in banks, black markets, as well as the supply and demand trends in global stock markets.

Types of gold depend on the percentage of gold per kilogram. For example, 24k gold, which is considered the best in quality, is 99 percent gold mixed with 1 percent of precious metal such as silver or copper. This type of gold is considered pure, and not used for adornment.
For a kilogram of 22k gold, 125 grams of precious metals are added to 875 grams of pure gold; 150 grams of precious metals are added to 850 grams to make a kilogram of 21k gold, and 18k gold has 250 grams of precious metals per kilogram.

Opinion

This section contains relevant reference points, placed in (Opinion field)

The Kingdom has launched an initiative, the first of its kind, authorizing authorities to launch a Shariah-based gold investment fund to enrich investment products through the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul).
Moath Alkhasawneh, CEO and board member of FALCOM Financial Services, said the FALCOM Gold Fund was officially licensed by the Capital Market Authority. The fund aims to add value to Tadawul through a Shariah-based investment fund, as gold trading transactions are considered a good investment and a high-quality commodity with low risks in investment portfolios.
“Gold retains its value compared to banknotes — their value decreases because of inflation. The high demand on gold in light of the shortage of supply can drive the prices of gold higher in the long run,” said Alkhasawneh.
“The gold investment fund focuses on investment in pure and precious gold, and the investment transactions will take place at the Switzerland Gold Market under the supervision of the higher authorities in Switzerland. This will make it safer and more flexible.”