Saudi imports of livestock, animal products total $2.08bln in 5 months

Riyadh – The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture managed to provide livestock and cattle in Saudi markets during the COVID-19 crisis, as part of the kingdom’s food security strategy and the ministry’s efforts to support the local market and maintain price stability.

The kingdom’s imports of livestock and animal products amounted to SAR 7.8 billion during the first five months of 2020, an annual drop of 10.97% or SAR 961.5 million, according to data collected by Mubasher.

March contributed the most to the livestock import value with SAR 1.83 billion, followed by May with SAR 1.61 billion, whereas January was the least on the list with just SAR 1.2 billion worth of imports.

During the January-May period in 2020, Saudi Arabia’s exports of livestock and animal products totalled SAR 2.25 billion, compared with SAR 2.46 billion in the year-ago period.

In the first half (H1) of 2020, the kingdom imported 1.269 million heads of livestock, according to official data.

In 2019, the kingdom’s imports of livestock and animal products recorded a value of SAR 19.51 billion, down by 7.8% from SAR 18.1 billion in 2018.


Saudi Ports to develop massive grain terminal in Yanbu

RIYADH: The Saudi Ports Authority (Mawani) is set to develop the Kingdom’s biggest grain terminal in Yanbu.

Mawani signed an agreement with the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC), a Public Investment Fund-owned company, to lease land in Yanbu Commercial Port to be used to develop the project. The value of the project was not disclosed.

The terminal, which will be sited on 313,000 square meters of land, will be used for importing, processing and exporting grain. It will be built in two phases with total capacity of 5 million tons annually.

Gulf states are investing heavily in food security as a combination of political and climate factors encourage countries to ensure they have enough essential food supplies in case of an emergency.

“This strategic partnership with Mawani has lasted for over 30 years and is considered one of the key pillars of the food security system in the Kingdom,” Abdul Rahman Al-Fadhli, minister of environment, water and agriculture and chairman of SALIC, said. “The project aims to enhance the velocity of the main grain influx to Saudi Arabia and is considered the first regional center for grains in the commercial port of Yanbu.”

The Yanbu project will become the first regional center for importing, processing and re-exporting grains, according to Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser, Saudi transport minister and chairman of Mawani.

“This regional project will support the operational traffic in the Yanbu Commercial Port, attract additional international shipping lines, and increase investment in the logistic services sector which will bring about significant growth in operational traffic,” Al-Jasser said.

The project represents the latest move by the ports authority to develop its infrastructure and better position Saudi Arabia as an international trade hub linking Africa, Asia and the Middle East.


Saudi fund approves $90m agricultural loans

RIYADH: The Saudi Agricultural Development Fund (ADF) has approved more than SR337 million ($90 million) in financial loans, facilities and credit guarantees to support the Kingdom’s agricultural sector.

Munir Al-Sahli, deputy chairman and director general of the ADF, said the loans include a program to support working capital and operational costs in small and medium-sized enterprises.

To mitigate the damage of the COVID-19 pandemic, the fund also supports the importation of agricultural products as part of the food security strategy through loans directly from the fund, or indirectly in partnership with commercial banks.
Other initiatives include financing the first veterinary camel hospital in Saudi Arabia, shelter projects, broiler chicken production, a dried egg powder factory and the provision of guarantees and financial facilities for feed and animal production companies.

The ADF will continue supporting the agricultural sector to achieve food security in line with the Kingdom’s agricultural policy, he said.