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Mon 5 Sep 2011 07:51 PM

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Ukraine eyes deal to supply Saudi Arabia with barley

Ukraine's Prime Minister says he is seeking long term food supply contract with Gulf kingdom

Ukraine eyes deal to supply Saudi Arabia with barley
Ukraine is trying to obtain a “long term” contract to supply barley to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said. (Getty Images)

Ukraine is trying to obtain a “long term” contract to supply barley to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Monday.

“We are
offering a long term contract” to Saudi Arabia, Azarov told reporters
in Kiev. The Saudi government would like to buy 7.5 million metric
tons of barley as a one-time purchase, according to Azarov. Ukraine is
prepared to plan its barley planting in accordance with a Saudi
contract, he said.

Farmers have
gathered a “wonderful” harvest of over 50 million tonnes of grain and
exports may increase to over 20 million tonnes in the new season that
started July 1 from 12 million tonnes a year earlier, Azarov said.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest importer of barley, reported a 23 percent drop in food imports in the first half of this year after stockpiling grain.

Food shipments to the Arab world’s largest economy, which relies on imports to feed its population of 27 million, fell to 7.8 million tonnes from January through June from 10 million tonnes in the same period last year, the Saudi Port Authority said on its website.