The Saudi Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organization (GSFMO) has issued an international tender to purchase 660,000 tons of hard wheat, local media said quoting European wheat dealers.
The tender reportedly sought wheat with a minimum 12.5 percent protein, wheat traders were quoted as saying.
The GSFMO asked for shipment of 330,000 tons to the port of Jeddah and another 330,000 tons to the port of Dammam.
According to the dealers, the GSFMO asked for six shipments per 55,000 tons for each in the designated ports in different stages starting from Nov. 1 to Dec. 30.
On June 3, the Kingdom bought 410,000 tons of hard wheat and 115,000 tons of soft wheat for shipments to cover the period between September and October, according to the local media.
The Kingdom has reportedly become a major importer of both hard and soft wheat after it had abandoned plans to be self-sufficiency in wheat production in 2008 as cultivation of wheat in the desert areas consumed huge quantities of water. The Kingdom plans to reduce production of wheat gradually and depend on the imports completely by 2016 in a bid to save water, experts said.
Last year, the Kingdom imported 2.1 million tons of hard wheat. The GSFMO purchased quantities of local wheat at the cost of SR 770 million.
According to the GSFMO estimates, some 2.5 million tons of wheat will be imported during the current year whereas 600,000 tons of locally-produced wheat will be delivered to the GSFMO to meet local needs and boost its strategic reserves.
© Arab News 2013
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