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Wed 16 Jun 2010 08:01 PM

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Saudi Arabia tenders for 990,000 tonnes of wheat

Tender, which closes on Friday, will be on the largest grain tenders issued this year.

Saudi Arabia tenders for 990,000 tonnes of wheat
WHEAT PURCHASE: Saudi Arabias state grains buyer is tendering to purchase 990,000 tonnes of wheat. (Getty Images)

Saudi Arabia's state grains buyer is tendering to purchase 990,000 tonnes of wheat, European traders said on Wednesday.

It would be one of the largest grain tenders issued this year and closes on Friday.

Some 550,000 tonnes were for shipment to Jeddah and 440,000 tonnes to Dammam, traders said.

The wheat was sought for ten shipments between October 2010 and April 2011.

High quality wheat with 12.5 and 14 percent protein content was sought, traders said.

Saudi Arabia's previous tender for 550,000 tonnes was in April. The country has a rising import requirement after deciding to cut domestic wheat cultivation to save water.

Optional origin is being sought. Traders said a wide range of origins were likely to compete for the business, but said Saudi Arabia does generally not prefer Russian wheat.

One European trader said: "The interesting feature will be how people in today's weather picture will be able to judge the availability of large volumes of high quality wheat before the harvests in the northern hemisphere."

He added: "We still have problems with rains in part of the US, Canada and eastern Europe. It is difficult to judge the likely quality outlook of new crops."

Saudi Arabia will import about 2 million tonnes of wheat this year, unchanged from the previous year, the country's Agriculture Minister Fahad Balghunaim said on Tuesday.

In 2008, the desert kingdom abandoned a 30 year wheat cultivation plan that had helped it cover its domestic needs to save water resources.

On Tuesday, Balghunaim said: "The state has prioritised water security over food security." (Reuters)

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