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Canada Agriculture Industry is the Big Loser in Saudi Political Embargo

The shutdown of the trade between Saudi Arabia and Ottawa could cost Canada big bucks, as Canada agriculture industry stands on the verge of losing millions. Green Prairie International (GPI), the Canada’s wholesale provider of food products, which ships the products worldwide has big numbers to lose in a battle with Saudi Arabia.

The diplomatic ties, which began over after Canada asked to free its activists are now coming back to haunt them. “The consequences are quite negative extensively everywhere,” business manager John Van Hierden said.

GPI has been dealing with Saudi Arabia for the last decade and the country forms a good part exports. Also, the newly developed dried corn silage was expected to boost the business in the Middle East, however the result may not that fruitful now, fears Van Hierden.

“If you take an up-and-coming market like Saudi Arabia with the potential to ship upwards of 50,000 metric tons there, it’s more than millions of dollars.”

Cam Dahl, President of Cereals Canada said 135,000 tons of barely has been going to Saudi Arabia every year, representing about 7 percent of our total exports worldwide every year. So, the loss is huge because it is a significant number contributing in the economy.

Saudi Arabia has already blacklisted Canada from wheat and barley exports. The country has faced problems in the past, but it only adds to woes.

“If this was just one country where we were having market access and concerns about growing protectionism, it would be a speed bump along the road but it’s not,” said Dahl. He added, “It’s costly for farmers and it’s very worrisome for an industry that depends on trade.”

Dr. Shamsul Alam, a professor of finance in the faculty of management at the University of Lethbridge also remarked, no matter the size of the country is, trade loss of any portion plays a significant role in the economy.

Did Saudi overreact on the issue or not is one side of the story, however what can be certainly drawn is that Canada is set to lose big in agricultural terms.

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