Saudi to maintain bread subsidies

The kingdom is the highest per capita consumer of bread in the world, according to reports



Saudi’s Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed that subsidies on flour and bread will not be withdrawn under the current wave of austerity measures.

Local newspaper Al-Hayat reported the decision on Tuesday saying milling companies would still sell flour to bakeries for the same price.

Bread is the second most important food source in the kingdom after rice and the kingdom is the country is often described as the largest per capita consumer of bread.

People in Saudi Arabia are said to consume 235g of wheat, cakes or bread a day.

The country imported more than 3 million tonnes of wheat last year to meet demand, according to reports. This included a sizeable order of hard wheat in June.

Read: Saudi Arabia buys 315,000 tonnes of hard wheat

Bread prices have been fixed in the kingdom for the past 35 years despite a 300 per cent increase in the price of materials used to make bread.

Last year more than 1,000 bakeries in the country’s eastern region proposed an increase to bread prices to compensate them for rising energy bills, according to the publication.

However, they are unable to raise prices or change the size of loaves without the government’s consent.

The Saudi government is expected to increase domestic fuel prices this year under a new wave of austerity measures.

Read: Saudi budget to boost spending, raise domestic fuel prices