Prices are likely to rise further after they rose 20 percent within a single month. In fact, popular varieties of Basmati rice remain hard to find at retail outlets despite this price hike.
A 10-kg bag of Kernal Basmati, which was selling at SR52, is now being sold at SR62 and is out of stock at many stores, including popular hypermarkets.
One trader told
Some traders have taken advantage of the situation by selling substandard rice. Many, for instance, are duping customers into believing they are purchasing genuine
Rice is a major staple food in the Kingdom, with an annual per capita consumption of approximately 42 kg. This figure is expected to rise further.
Saudi Arabia relies on rice imports from abroad to meet demand. There are about 17 large rice importers out of total 180 in Saudi Arabia.
Six importers account for 63 percent of the total volume of rice imports. Over 80 percent of Saudi rice imports constitute the Basmati variety from
Rice is imported in packed bags of five, 10 and 40 kg. The 10-kg bag is the most purchased size, as it is convenient to carry. Basmati is the most popular rice among both Asian and Arab expats and Saudis. Milled Basmati is commonly purchased by Asians and the Sella Basmati, which has the largest market share, is mostly popular among Arab nationalities.
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