Saudi Arabia bought 720,000 tonnes of hard wheat (12.5 per cent protein minimum) in a tender for shipment in 12 cargoes between November and December, the Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organisation said on Monday.
The accepted origins are from the European Union, North and South America and Australia, at the sellers’ option, a statement by the GSFMO said.
Of the total, 360,000 tonnes are for shipment to the port of Jeddah, and 360,000 tonnes are for shipment to the port of Dammam, Waleed Elkhereiji, director general of GSFMO, said in a statement.
Saudi Arabia has become a major importer of both hard and soft wheat since abandoning plans for self-sufficiency in wheat in 2008 as farming in the desert strained water supplies.
The country aims to steadily reduce agriculture and plans to be completely reliant on imports by 2016 to save water.
Saudi Arabia had announced it was seeking 660,000 tonnes of hard wheat last week in a tender that closed Saturday.
In its last reported tender on June 3, it bought 410,000 tonnes of hard wheat and 115,000 tonnes of soft wheat for shipment between September and October.
Saudi Arabia, which has so far imported 1.8 million tonnes of wheat since the beginning of the year, will continue to tender as it is looking to import a total of 2.5 million tonnes in 2014, Elkhereiji said in comments published by the state news agency.
The Kingdom also wants to procure a total of 600,000 tonnes of local wheat, the Saudi Press Agency said.