Saudi Arabia's state grain buyer SAGO said on Monday it bought 60,000 tons of Ukraine wheat from investment firm SALIC, marking its first purchase from agricultural investments overseas aimed at enhancing the country’s food security.
Gulf states, dependent on imports for around 80 percent to 90 percent of
their food, have poured cash into buying tens of thousands of hectares of farmland and other agricultural assets elsewhere to shore up their food security for over a decade.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, has long encouraged its private sector to invest in agricultural land abroad, without tangible results in terms of imports for SAGO - until Monday’s purchase.
The Saudi call comes as regional food importers scramble to beef up reserves as coronavirus lockdowns up-ended supply chains.
“The 60,000 ton were purchased from SALIC,” a SAGO official told Reuters.
The Ukraine wheat that was sourced is of 11 percent to 12 percent protein
content and is for arrival in September.
SAGO renewed on Sunday its call for more investors to subscribe to supply it with the remaining quantity of wheat.