Over 90,000 tons of rice consumed in Ramadan

Over 90,000 tons of rice consumed in Ramadan
The Kingdom is among the largest importing countries, with annual domestic consumption of 1.3 million tons from imported and domestic stocks. (SPA)
Updated 03 July 2016

Over 90,000 tons of rice consumed in Ramadan

Over 90,000 tons of rice consumed in Ramadan

JEDDAH: During Ramadan, 91,300 tons of rice have been imported to the Kingdom since early this year until Sha’ban, said Customs Authority spokesman Issa Al-Issa. Rice is the staple food in Saudi Arabia, he said.
Engineer Eid bin Mubarak Al-Ghadeer, former president, National Agricultural Committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers, said it is normal to see the demand for rice increasing during Ramadan. He said the product is strategic and necessary, with the price per ton amounted to about SR5,250 in 2015.
This comes at a time when global indicators suggest the price of rice has declined significantly. The Kingdom is among the largest importing countries, with annual domestic consumption of 1.3 million tons from imported and domestic stocks.
Al-Ghadeer said rice is also in great demand in the Kingdom due to its significant use for distribution of zakat, especially during Ramadan. Estimated local inventory is about 450,000 tons, he said.
He said the price of rice per kilo is expected to increase closer to Zakat Al-Fitr, where the price per kilo often ranges between SR3.5 and SR4.5.
“The government has given importance to rice and has made it sure to keep a large stock of rice throughout the year and enough strategic stocks for about eight months,” he said.
The government is aware of price fluctuations or poor harvests as rice traders have to work to respond to the government’s desire to impart sufficient quantities, he said. Studies show annual per capita consumption of rice in the Kingdom is around 40 kilos, he added. Such consumption levels are considered the greatest in the world, with the Kingdom importing around 20 different kinds of rice from global markets.
India is the leading supplier of rice, exporting more than 60 percent of the total rice imported in the Kingdom.