Saudi Arabia: Vegetable prices drop on local supply

Surging prices of vegetables and fruits have been worrying Saudi Arabian residents for the last few months. Fruits and vegetables, whether imported from Syria or Turkey or locally harvested had become unaffordable for many.

But the prices have finally dropped, up to 50 percent in some cases. A 5-kilo carton of tomatoes which was selling for 10 USD a week ago is now being offered at USD 4 at the central vegetable market at Halaqa in Jeddah.

The drop in prices was attributed to the arrival of locally harvested crops in the market. However, leading super markets are still selling them at previous prices with promotion tags.

In the last few weeks, tomato prices were the worst affected, with some supermarkets charging more than USD 3,20 a kilogram. Even street vendors charged up to USD 2,70 a kilo.

Tomatoes rose in price as they are popular during pilgrimage season and the usual supply from Turkey and Syria was reduced because of problems in Syria.

Similarly, political turmoil in Lebanon has lessened the supply of potatoes, which have been selling for more than USD 1,60 per kilo. Now potatoes from the Hail region have entered the market prices have halved.

Vegetable wholesale trader Ahmed Sayed said that "the rates are expected to fall further."


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