Saudi Arabia aims to ensure availability of goods, prevent manipulation: Alkassabi
Minister of Commerce Majed Alkassabi
Minister of Commerce Majed Alkassabi attributed the rise in commodity prices to various and global reasons since the COVID-19 outbreak, which was an economic crisis per se. Recovery started after the pandemic, but was coupled with higher shipping rates, which rose six times on supply chain disruptions. This came as a result of COVID-19, labor shortage, the Russia-Ukraine war and higher insurance prices.
All these factors led to a decline in commodity manufacturing, Alkassabi said during a government briefing, adding that as recovery began, but prices of energy and raw materials started to go up, pushing shipping and transport costs higher.
Some countries, such as India, Indonesia, Brazil and Argentina, imposed restrictions on some basic commodities, like wheat, sugar, and edible oils, leading to price hikes.
The Kingdom seeks to ensure the availability of commodities in the markets, as this will eventually balance and control prices, the minister said, noting that lack of supply is a major reason for higher prices.
Alkassabi said that the prices of 217 commodities will be monitored, in order to take the necessary measures to prevent any price manipulation, while monitoring violations and following up on the markets.
The Kingdom’s leadership recognized the impact of such repercussions on the prices of foodstuff and basic commodities, and issued a royal decree on offering an aid package to support the neediest families to face higher prices .