Siberian producer SAHO has 400,000 hectares of land in Russia
A Saudi Arabian investment company has set up a joint venture with a Siberian grain producer to ship Russian wheat and barley to the Middle East and North Africa.
Najd Trading and General Contracting
have worked with Russian domestic investment bank, Metropol to set up an arrangement with producer SAHO. The deal is part of a debt restructuring of SAHO, and Metropol has an option to buy SAHO in the future.
In a joint statement, the companies said that Najd Trading will provide a guaranteed sales channel for SAHO, which has "400,000 hectares of land in southern and central Russia as well as its home region of Novosibirsk."
Saudi Arabia consumes 15 million tonnes of grain every year. Sergei Solousov, the head of Metropol corporate finance and SAHO's newly appointed chairman, told reporters, "We see a deficit of about 4 million tonnes of grain in Saudi Arabia, and we would like to cover as much of it as we could."
The agreement is also groundbreaking in terms of trade between Saudi Arabia and Russia, after the 2010 ban on Russian grain exports. The Kingdom remains the largest foreign buyer of Russian barley and imported about 2.5 million tonnes from Russia in the 2011/2012 crop year.