Saudi Arabia’s state wheat buying agency, the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO), on Thursday said it has issued an international tender to purchase about 295,000 tonnes of wheat.
SAGO Governor Ahmed Al Fares said in a statement that the wheat is sought in five individual shipments for arrival in Saudi Arabian ports in May and June.
Hard milling wheat with 12.5% protein is sought.
The deadline for submission of price offers in the tender is Friday April 2. Traders expect results after the weekend.
Of the total shipments, 120,000 tonnes are sought for delivery to the port of Jeddah, 120,000 tonnes to Yanbu and 55,000 tonnes to Jizan, SAGO said.
Traders separately said that the following shipments were sought for these arrival dates. Jeddah port June 10-20 60,000 tonnes June 20-20 60,000 tonnes Yanbu port June 1-10 60,000 tonnes June 20-30 60,000 tonnes
Jizan May 20-30 55,000 tonnes
Saudi Arabia has not bought wheat in an international tender since Nov. 9, 2020, when it purchased 860,000 tonnes.
“The tender is relatively small for Saudi Arabia after such a long absence from the market,” one European trader said. “Their own domestic harvest is looming. With world prices still pretty high they might be seeking with this purchase to make it to the new European harvests starting around July.
“The Saudis are also buying a significant volume from their own investments abroad.”
SAGO added on Thursday that it has bought 355,000 tonnes of wheat from Saudi investors based abroad in 2021.
Saudi Arabia has been investing in farms and other agricultural companies in countries including Australia, Ukraine and Canada in recent years. The desert kingdom has been seeking alternatives to its own wheat farming to save water.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi in Dubai Additional reporting by Michael Hogan in Hamburg Editing by David Goodman)