Friday, December 04, 2009

Those evil Israelis, helping the Jordanian economy

YNet reports:
Jordanian sources claim that the export of some 500 tons of cucumbers to Israel in November has resulted in a spike in local cucumber prices.

The As-Sabeel weekly quoted Jordanian sources as saying that local merchants and middlemen purchased the produce at local vegetable markets in order to sell it to Israel at relatively steep prices.

Jordanian farmers say that during the transition period between autumn and winter, when cucumber harvests are unstable, Israeli merchants are willing to pay more (3.5-4 dinars, or $5-6.50) for every five-kilogram (10 pound) box of cucumbers.

Meanwhile, say the sources, the export of cucumbers to Israel has spurred an increase in local cucumber prices to a level of 0.7-0.9 dinars, or $1-1.30 per kilo.

Jordanian farmers told As-Sabeel that they had decided to export cucumbers to Israel despite protests from organizations opposed to the normalization of ties with the Jewish state because they could not sell them to other markets in Syria and the Gulf states.
So local Jordanian farmers found a customer for their products that are willing to pay a premium for them. In any other context, this would be considered a good thing, and a boon to the local economy. Yet since the customer happens to be Israel, their resultant greed is not blamed on the farmers themselves but on Israel for being willing to pay more for Jordanian goods!

In 1999, Jordanian farmers produced 74,000 tons of cucumbers, so the idea that selling a mere 500 tons to Israel would force the local market price to rise that dramatically is not likely.

It is worth mentioning that Jordanian cucumber farmers protested government regulations last year that forced them to lower their prices, to the point of threatening to destroy their cucumber crops rather than adhere to the regulations.