October 20, 2011
Saudi Arabian wheat imports to reach 1.9 tonnes in 2011
Saudi Arabia plans to buy 1.9 million tonnes of wheat in 2011, said Waheed A. Elkhereiji, director general of the Grain Silos & Flour Mills Organisation in a Bloomberg report.
The kingdom will import slightly more next year "Consumption is increasing due to the increase in population and due to the decrease of procurement from the interior market," he said.
Saudi Arabia decided in 2008 to gradually phase out all water-intensive crops including wheat by 2016, after halting subsidies to grow barley in 2003 to save water, according to the United Nations' Food and Agricultural Organization. Domestic wheat production is estimated to have dropped 13% to 1.1 million tonnes this year following adoption of the 2008 decree on crops, the Rome-based FAO has said.