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Saudi Arabia buys 735,000 tonnes of hard wheat
March 14, 2017
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HAMBURG/ RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s main state wheat buying agency the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) said on Monday it has purchased 735,000 tonnes of hard wheat in an international tender.

A tender for 720,000 tonnes closed on Friday seeking wheat with 12.5 per cent protein content for arrival between May and July.

The wheat can be sourced from the European Union, North America, South America and Australia at the sellers’ option, SAGO governor Ahmad Al-Fares said.

“The July shipments to Jeddah and Dammam could be sourced from the United States,” one European trader said. “The others are likely to be sourced in Europe, including some from Germany.”

Another trader added: “US hard red winter wheat via the US Gulf was competitively priced in the tender and I expect it to be used as some of the supplies.”

“It looks like US wheat is coming back into the Middle Eastern market.” The purchase comprises 12 consignments, with eight to be shipped to the port of Jeddah and four to Dammam, he said. SAGO said these purchases were made in dollars per tonne c&f with arrival period in 2017 in brackets.

In its last reported wheat tender on Dec.12, SAGO bought 725,000 tonnes of hard wheat of optional origins.

Saudi Arabia has become a major importer of hard and soft wheat since abandoning plans for self-sufficiency in 2008 because farming in the desert drained precious water supplies.

Saudi Arabia’s main state wheat buying agency, the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO), has issued the international tender to purchase 720,000 tonnes of hard wheat on Thursday. The wheat, with 12.5 per cent protein content, is sought from global suppliers for arrival during May to July 2017, it said.

SAGO Governor Ahmed Al Fares said in a statement the 720,000 tonnes comprised 12 individual consignments of 60,000 tonnes, plus or minus 10 per cent.

The shipments will be distributed between the ports of Jeddah (480,000 tonnes) and Dammam (240,000 tonnes). The tender did not request specific origins.

“There is expectation at least part of the purchase could be sourced in Germany,” one European trader said. “Ship loadings in past weeks have shown large shipments of German wheat moving to Saudi Arabia which seem to indicate parts of previous tenders were supplied with German wheat.”

“But Poland has also emerged as a major exporter recently and so it is not easy to assess the likely origins which will be selected.”

Agencies

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