The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MCI) has pointed out that the Saudi markets have witnessed during this year (1434H) a large number of frequently-demanded consumer goods. This remark was mentioned within a report issued by the MCI after monitoring a number of consumer products in the Saudi markets through its supervisors in the head office and the branches spread all over the Saudi governorates to ensure the availability and good prices of goods.
The MCI's report has highlighted that the availability of goods in a large number has headed up competition among the various commercial centers, adding “This can be clearly noticed after such markets had put forward a wide range of competitive offers in the prices of some goods during the Holy Month of Ramadan, impacting positively on the price level.”
The monthly reports issuing since the beginning of this year have pointed out that most of the supply goods are available in the local markets and their prices are the best compared to the neighboring countries, thanks to Allah and then to the policy of providing incentives for the inputs of consumer goods through MCI's Supply Committee which follows up the global prices as well as their variations and amends the value of incentives provided for such goods to ensure price stability for citizens.
The report has also underscored that the procedures taken during this period on the supply goods, whose prices have increased for domestic reasons, had impacted positively on the stability and availability of such goods, adding “This can be clearly noticed after the issuance of the Royal Order instructing to provide additional quantities of cement through importation and allocation of SR 1 billion annually to increase the production of cement locally against the increase of consumption, reflecting the markets positively as the prices of cement bags have decreased from SR 25 to SR 13.
The Royal Order has also directed the Ministry to impose exportation duties on poultry products after the domestic markets had suffered shortage due to lower supply of local products; given that imposition of duties has resulted in changing the mind of merchants who began to put forward their products locally instead of exporting them, thus additional quantities of local products have been provided and prices of imported poultry have decreased.
However, the MCI's report highlighted that the shortage in some local agricultural products, particularly tomato, has led to an increase in prices at the beginning of the month, requiring the coverage of local needs through importation from some neighboring countries; given that this procedure has led to a decrease in prices at the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan. Also, the prices of powdered and baby milk are still subject to global price pressures.
It is noteworthy that the MCI has allocated a website for the index of the consumer products with the aim of monitoring the basic and supply goods electronically on a daily basis in 27 governorates located within the Kingdom. The Ministry is expected to publish such goods on the following website: http://cpi.mci.gov.sa