Saudi Arabia’s state-run Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organization (GSF MO) said Nov. 9 it would privatize its flour mills by creating four companies, but will continue to import wheat and sell it to the mills.
The top oil exporter has 11 flour mills it hopes to sell to private investor groups but it did not give a timeframe for the privatization in an emailed statement.
Each of the new companies will cover an area that has access to a seaport, while the GSFMO will continue importing wheat and selling it to the grinding mills, said Walid al-Khuraiji, director general of the Kingdom’s grain authority.
In an effort to save water resources, the desert kingdom abandoned a 30-year wheat cultivation plan and has reduced the amount of wheat it purchased from local farmers by 12.5 per cent a year since 2008.
The move has turned GSFMO into one of the biggest new buyers in the international grains market.