Saudi Arabia completely bans imports from Turkey


Saudi Arabia completely bans imports from Turkey

09/30/2020

The main categories of export of vegetables and fruits from Turkey to Saudi Arabia were citrus fruits ($ 28 million), various types of nuts ($ 25 million) and fresh tomatoes ($ 14 million).

Saudi Arabia has imposed a complete embargo on imports of all products from Turkey, including vegetables and fruits, in response to Ankara’s actions in the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Middle East Monitor reported, citing Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet.

An unofficial ban on the import of Turkish textiles and perishable products was introduced in Saudi Arabia a year ago, but the goods were allowed in manually after the intervention of Turkish diplomats. Now the embargo is moving from a recommendation to an official one, and Turkish exporters will have to look for new markets for their products.

In fact, the ban on the import of horticultural products from Turkey should not hit Turkish suppliers hard. According to East-Fruit, in 2019, Turkey exported $ 138 million worth of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables to Saudi Arabia, which was only 2% of total Turkish exports of these products in all directions.

Saudi Arabia is also practically independent of imports of vegetables and fruits from Turkey, whose share in the total imports of these products in the Kingdom was only 4% in 2019. At the same time, the main categories of export of vegetables and fruits from Turkey to Saudi Arabia were citrus fruits ($ 28 million), various types of nuts ($ 25 million) and fresh tomatoes ($ 14 million).

Read also: Turkey exports dried apricots to 115 countries

Thus, for Turkish suppliers, such a ban only means the closure of one of the insignificant sales markets. However, if viewed from a broader perspective, Saudi Arabia’s decision will further worsen the trade situation in the already volatile region of the Middle East. In addition, the Kingdom intends to completely sever all economic ties with Turkey, including investment projects, and is ready to fine those companies that do not comply with the new rules.

In general, relations between the two countries have gradually deteriorated over the past few years, which is also demonstrated by the dynamics of the fruit and vegetable trade. Over the past decade, exports of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables from Turkey to Saudi Arabia have decreased by 8%, and since 2016 (the year of peak deliveries) have fallen by a third.

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