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Saudi Arabia Food Imports: A Short Guide for Exporters and Importers

Saudi Arabia Food Imports: A Short Guide for Exporters and Importers

Currently, only 20% of the food requirements of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is locally produced. This means that 80% of the food products are being imported by the country in its partner countries. Normally, the countries that belong to the GCC are importing 90% of their food products where Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar importing more than 90%. Last year according to Saudi Arabia food statistics, the kingdom has a total import value of $129.8 billion. Despite the massive numbers, this is just 0.8% of the total global imports.

Saudi Arabia Food Labeling Requirements
Locally produced and imported food products are following the same labeling requirements and safety regulations. According to the regulation, here are some of the information that should be included in the labels when using plastic packaging.

  • Any warnings whenever applicable
  • Directions for using
  • Type and purpose of the application
  • Food grade
  • Dimension, number, capacity, and weight
  • The plastic material

The rules will be different when you are using aluminum materials. The aluminum material should provide adequate protection that will prevent food material from gaining or losing heat. It should also be impermeable that will keep the fatty content intact. The aluminum packaging should not leave any hazardous residue or affect the odor and taste of the food product. It should have the required thickness and a purity of at least 99%.

What Does Saudi Arabia Import?
Saudi Arabia is a highly modernized city. At least 83% of the Saudi nationals are living in well-developed areas. The top suppliers of the country include China that distributes 13.3% of their imported goods, US with 12.1%, and India that covers 8.3% of their imported value. Since it is a modernized country, it is not surprising that the major products that they import are computers with an import value of $17.8billion. Machinery and computers makes up 13.7% of the country’s total imported goods. Not far from the computers would be the vehicles with a $17.7 billion import value followed by electrical equipment with $14.3billion. 

When it comes to the fastest-growing imported products by Saudi Arabia, precious metals, imported gems, imitation jewels, and gold are showing a tremendous increase. According to the 5-year period, these products have experienced a growth of more than 240%. Plastics also showed a promising increase with a more than a 70% growth rate. Pharmaceutical equipment has a decent increase with a 51.9% rate. On the other hand, the products that are made from steel have suffered an unfortunate decline of -5.2%. 

The wholesale Saudi Arabia food importers should take advantage of the dependency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on food imports. Their lack of self-sufficiency will make them a great trading partner. The kingdom knows that the development of the sustainable food sector will be ineffective and costly. This is why most countries that belong to the GCC countries are relying on imported goods to guarantee their food security.

For any more questions you have or information, you need to be sure to consult the Saudi Arabian food importers directory at Nutrada.
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