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KSA smokers puff away SR3.3bn cigarettes in a year

Tobacco ranks 17th among 50 most wanted products imported by the Kingdom.

Source : Arab news / 12 May 2014

Saudi Arabia imported cigarettes worth SR3.3 billion in 2012, equivalent to 20 percent of the value of imported pharmaceutical products, which stood at SR16.5 billion during the same year, local media said.

Cigarette imports accounted for just over half a percent of the Kingdom’s total imports in 2012, compared with 2.8 percent for medicine, valued at SR583.5 billion, said an analytical study that was carried out by an Arabic daily said.

Ninety-two percent of cigarette imports to the Kingdom came from Germany, Switzerland and Turkey at a cost of SR3 billion. Germany alone captured 61 percent of cigar imports, at SR2 billion, followed by Switzerland, at SR538 million, or 16 percent of the total, and Turkey at SR496 million, or 15 percent of all imports.

The Kingdom imports cigarettes from more than 17 countries, including Yemen, India, Malaysia, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Egypt, South Africa, Britain, France, Poland, and Czech Republic. In addition to cigarettes, the Kingdom imports other types of tobacco, such as honeyed tobacco, estimated at SR66 million), “jarak,” at SR32 million, snuffs, at SR12 million, and manufactured tobacco, at SR10 million. 

The value of imported tobacco products stood at SR147 million, the study said.
Tobacco products registered the highest increase in Saudi markets, whose prices increased by 6.4 percent in March 2014 compared with figures during the same period in 2013.

According to a report issued by the General Statistics Department, tobacco ranks 17th among 50 most wanted products imported by the Kingdom. 

Tobacco imports jumped from 35,806 tons in 2011, valued at SR2.89 billion, to 55,992 tons in 2012, the report said. 

“It is quite strange that the value of tobacco imports exceeded the value of wheat, barley and baby food imports,” the study said.


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