Saudi wheat imports to hit 2.7m tonnes this year
Paris, June 10, 2014
Saudi Arabia's Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organisation expects its wheat imports to rise to 2.7 million tonnes this year as the country continues to phase out local production, GSFMO's Director General Waleed Elkhereiji said on Tuesday.
Saudi Arabia imported about 2.6 million tonnes of wheat last year, he told Reuters on the sidelines of the International Grains Council's annual conference in London.
The expected import volume in 2014 would include about 200,000 tonnes of soft wheat alongside the hard-wheat varieties mostly purchased by Saudi Arabia for bread-making, he said.
"It is a (small) percentage but we are in a process of more diversity," Elkhereiji said of the soft wheat imports.
So far this year, GSFMO has purchased about 1.2 million tonnes of hard wheat and 110,000 tonnes of soft wheat, he said.
Saudi Arabia aims to stop state-subsidised wheat production by 2016 in order to preserve water resources. Local production is expected to fall to about 500,000 tonnes this year, Elkhereiji said. – Reuters