Saudi Arabia formally suspends Turkish meat imports: report

Saudi Arabia formally suspends Turkish meat imports after boycott: report
2 min read
28 November, 2020
Saudi Arabia's informal boycott of Turkish food products are now reportedly official.
The Saudi government has denied that the boycott is official policy. [Getty]
Saudi Arabia has formally suspended imports of meat, eggs and other products from Turkey, Reuters reported on Friday, citing the Turkish exporters' union.

The ban reportedly went into effect earlier this month, over a month after an unofficial boycott by Riyadh of Turkish goods and services over political differences between the countries.

The initial boycott was triggered by a call from the kingdom's Chambers of Commerce to cut off all products bearing a "Made in Turkey" label.

"Imports from our country of red meat and products, white meat and products, water products, eggs and honey and their products, as well as milk and... alternatives to breast milk, have been suspended as of November 15," the union told its members in an email obtained by Reuters.

In recent months, Turkish exporters have complained of increasing obstacles in the face of trade with Saudi Arabia as ties between the two countries deteriorated.

Despite no official ban announcement by Riyadh, goods were reportedly being held up at the Saudi border leading to disruptions in sales.

Relations between the two countries – who are pitted against one another for regional influence – worsened in recent years.

When Saudi Arabia and its allies imposed an economic blockade on Qatar in 2017, Turkey voiced its support for Doha and strenghtened its ties with Qatar.

Relations soured further after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

Saudi Arabia is yet to release an official announcement of the ban.

Read also: Saudi king, Turkish president to 'resolve differences' through dialogue

According to Turkey's Exporters Assembly, the country's exports to Saudi Arabia fell 16 percent in the first 10 months of 2020 to $2.23 billion.

Despite this, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency has reported
that its commodity exports to the Kingdom constitute only 1.8 per cent of Ankara's total annual exports.

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