Saudis ‘spent SR400m on fruits, vegetables during Ramadan’

Saudis ‘spent SR400m on fruits, vegetables during Ramadan’
Saifullah Mohammed Abdullah Sharbatly
Updated 11 July 2016

Saudis ‘spent SR400m on fruits, vegetables during Ramadan’

Saudis ‘spent SR400m on fruits, vegetables during Ramadan’

JEDDAH: Investors in the food and retail sector confirmed that Saudis spent about SR400 million on fruit and vegetables during Ramadan in light of the stability of produce prices during the holy month.
The market witnessed a slight increase in prices of five percent during Eid Al-Fitr despite the abundance of local and imported products in the market.
Saifullah Mohammed Abdullah Sharbatly, one of the largest importers of fruit and vegetables in the Kingdom, said that consumers usually feel the heat of the high prices during the month of Ramadan and throughout the summer. He said that all kinds of vegetables and fruits were available in large quantities in various Saudi markets throughout the holy month of Ramadan because investors have secured large shipments especially for the month of Ramadan and the summer vacation. He explained that this has helped to stabilize prices and prevent fluctuations.
Prices did witness a slight rise at the beginning of Ramadan due to the increased demand for produce, but the prices soon went back to normal. For example, the prices of tomatoes, which are the central component of many dishes made during Ramadan, did not exceed SR4 per kilo in the majority of the shops and markets.
He admitted that usually prices increase during the summer vacation, and that there are many factors behind the increase of prices. During vacation, pressure builds up in the market due to the high level of consumption, however, he noted that prices did not increase more than five percent this year in light of the large abundance of products and increased merchant and consumer awareness.
He estimated that Saudi consumers spent almost SR400 million on all types of fruits and vegetables during Ramadan this year, even though a lot of this goes to waste when they buy too much produce.
He pointed out that the Saudi market is characterized by its diversity of import sources, which are immune to rapid fluctuations. He stressed that the Kingdom imported fruits and vegetables from 40 countries in the world, the most prominent of which are South Africa, Egypt, Chile, the Philippines, Lebanon, India, Pakistan, France and the USA.