Saudi Arabia adding Turkish animal products to banned goods list

Saudi Arabia is set to stop accepting animal product imports from Turkish manufacturers by Nov. 15, Bloomberg HT reported on Saturday, citing a note the kingdom’s Ankara embassy sent to Turkey’s Riyadh Office of Commercial Counsel.

The Saudi Embassy notified Turkish authorities that the kingdom would not be accepting poultry, eggs, red meats, dairy, seafood products, honey and similar products from Turkey.

Bloomberg HT cited industry experts as saying that the ban would not impact Turkey’s exports too much, as Saudi Arabia had already restricted animal product imports from Turkey, and that companies had been looking for alternative ways to overcome the restrictions.

Saudi Arabia was Turkish exporters’ sixth largest market in 2019, with $92 million’s worth of seafood and animal products, but dropped to ninth place with exports falling to $79 million this year, Istanbul Aquaculture and Animal Products Exporters Union Chairman Müjdat Sezer told Bloomberg HT.

“For our October 2020 exports, Saudi Arabia is not even among our top 20 markets, with $2 million’s worth of exports,” Sezer said. “This decision will drop our exports to Saudi Arabia to zero, but won’t really affect our $2.5 billion annual exports.”

Saudi authorities have urged a civilian boycott against Turkish products, including international brands that have manufacturing facilities in Turkey, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused Gulf countries of destabilizing the region over deals with Israel. An unofficial embargo on Turkish products has continued since last year in the country.

August trade figures were not significantly impacted by the boycott, according to reports, however, the impact could increase as supermarket chains joined in late October.