Saudi Arabia

Supply/Demand Basics

  • For the second consecutive year, Saudi Arabia imported 4 MMT of corn, with 900 TMT sourced from the U.S.
  • The world’s largest barley importer with 6.6 MMT in 2020. Barley subsidies are being removed, resulting in an opportunity for corn imports go grow significantly in upcoming years.
  • 24 TMT of U.S. DDGS was imported up from 13 TMT in the previous year.

Country Overview

  • Oil-based economy which accounts 87% of the Saudi budget revenues, 90% of export earnings, and 42% of GDP.
  • COVID-19 along with lower oil production levels and lower prices are weighing heavily on the economy and fiscal position.
  • Oil production continued to decline in year-on-year terms and has pushed the government to reduce fuel subsidies.

Trade and Market Share Overview

  • Argentina is the leading corn supplier at 52%, followed by the U.S. with 23% market share, and Brazil with 21%.
  • The Black Sea (Russia and Ukraine) and the E.U. supplied 80% of barley imports in 2020,while Argentina supplied 9%. No barley exports from the U.S.
  • Poultry and dairy are the main consumers of imported corn. Corn is sold at market prices, but barley is sold to Bedouins at subsidized price.

Policy Overview

  • Water scarcity and global price volatility prompted Saudi Arabia to stop local production of green fodder in 2019.
  • On January 1, 2020, the Saudi government stopped paying animal feed import subsidies and implemented a new animal feed subsidy regime that provides direct monthly financial subsides to livestock and poultry farmers based on production.
  • On November 17, 2020, Saudi Arabia gave the green light to the private sector to import and trade barley locally.