Saudi Arabia bans all pepper imports from Egypt
Speaking of which, is Saudi trying to escalate its tiff with Egypt to a full-on trade war? Saudi Arabia’s Agriculture Ministry has ‘temporarily’ banned the import of all kinds of peppers from Egypt, Al Masry Al Youm reported. The decision came after what the ministry calls “evidence of contamination with remnants of pesticides.” While the crop seems minor compared to, say, the Aramco shipments ending, the sudden nitpicking over pepper does appear passive aggressive in light of the tiff. The Agriculture Export Council doesn’t see that way, though. It opened its own investigation, said the council’s head Hany Hussein. He tells Al Mal that Saudi authorities have not formally informed Egypt and has asked the Trade and Industry Ministry to inquire about the violations so “corrective actions” are taken here at home. The ban will be enforced in February, he added.