Saudi Arabia has reported a decline in import letters of credit opened in January 2013 compared with the same month last year. However, the decline is mainly put down to very high levels of L/Cs used in 2012 in government contract awards and marks some substantial changes in the way L/Cs are being used in the kingdom. The value of L/Cs opened in 2013 registered a 0.9 per cent decline in the month of January. The value of L/Cs opened for imports substantially used in government contracts has declined markedly. But these declines were largely compensated by sharp rises in consumer goods imports. L/Cs opened for motor vehicles and foodstuffs increased in value by 42.3 percent and 58.2 per cent respectively.