• Call for more barley imports to Kingdom as prices soar


    Call for more barley imports to Kingdom as prices soar
    A Source at Saudi Grains and Fodder Holding Company.

    Barley stocks are being loaded onto a truck at the Jeddah sea port. 
    The station for barley near the Jazan port is being streamlined to handle more than 2,500 tons of imported barley on 100 trucks daily, said a source at Saudi Grains and Fodder Holding Company.
    According to the source, the imported stocks would be distributed among cooperative associations and stores at a fixed price of SR40 per bag.
    The station is expected to serve Jazan, Baha and Wadi Al-Dawasir, with attempts to provide similar initiatives at different areas in the Kingdom to solve the problem of barley shortage, which has adversely impacted sheep prices in the Kingdom, more so as investors tend to feed their sheep with vast amounts of barley.
    The investors say that factors contributing to the problem include an official stipulation that all investors must register their data to get import approvals.
    Official sources said the monopoliztic trend among investors has resulted in sheep owners buying barley from the black market for prices that range as high as SR50 per bag from the previously ruling price of SR30.
    The main sector primarily affected by the high increase in barley prices is sheep trading. According to Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Sheep Traders Committee head Suleiman Al-Jaberi, a letter has been addressed to the concerned trade and agriculture ministries for intervening in the matter and reduce the prices of barley, monitor the market, and financially support barley and sheep traders like what is being done in nearby countries.
    “We lose much. It is not true that we make use of the high prices in barley to give ourselves excuses to increase the prices of meat. In reality what happens is that we pay everything for ourselves unlike in Kuwait where the government pays five dinars for each sheep going into the country, or in the UAE where the government also pays something like SR11 for each sheep entering.
    We actually lose when we go abroad and our expenses go up; we lose when barley prices are high and yet we have to buy it from the black market. Most importantly, we lose when the Ministry of Trade rejects large shipments of sheep that we import and don’t get any compensation,” said Al-Jaberi.
    According to him, there is a need to monitor and give more financial support to the barley and sheep traders. There have been complaints from barley traders that though the government is supporting barley financially the traders are losing.
    Qinan Al-Ghamdi, a columnist at Al-Watan, explained in his column on Monday that “the cost for importing one ton of barely is SR1,160, the fixed price in the market is SR720, and the trader is receiving SR200 as support from the government. This means that the trader is losing SR240 on each imported ton.”
    Al-Ghamdi urged the ministries of trade and finance to free the barley market like that of the rice market from the control of these ministries.

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