A Saudi Arabia-backed agriculture investment firm has partnered with Bunge to buy majority ownership of the Canadian Wheat Board, reports said this week.
The move follows Saudi Arabia's decision late last year to no longer buy locally produced wheat beginning in 2016 because it was a poor use of limited water resources. This week the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co. (SALIC) joined Bunge to buy majority ownership of the Canadian Wheat Board for about $250 million.
The remaining stake will be allocated to a trust for the benefit of farmers and administered through the Farmer Equity Plan set up by the Canadian Wheat Board in 2013, Feedstuffs reported.
SALIC and other Saudi funds have shopped for farmland elsewhere. The Toronto Globe and Mail said Saudi connected firms two years ago bought Continental Farmers Group that gave the desert nation owned and leased farmland in Poland and the Ukraine.
Saudi Arabia began growing wheat in the 1980s, but production has declined since 2008. The kingdom said in December it expects to import about 3 million metric tons of wheat a year.
Americans hungry for imported organic foods – Study
Americans are importing more than twice as much organically produced foods than they are exporting, a sign that U.S. production of organic foods has room to grow, according to recent study by Pennsylvania State University professor.
The study by Edward Jaenicke, associate professor of agricultural economics, and released by the Organic Trade Association, showed exports of U.S. organic foods as well as imports of organic into the United States have risen significantly in the past few years.
In 2014, American organic growers sold more than $550 million worth of products tracked by the U.S. government to buyers around the world. That made the United States the leading global supplier of fresh organic produce. Apples, lettuce, grapes, spinach and strawberries are the top five organic products exported by the United States, with exports of organic apples up 40 percent in 2014 from the previous year,
Imports of organic products outpaced exports, amounting to nearly $1.3 billion in 2014. The top five imported organic products are coffee, soybeans, olive oil, bananas and wine, with coffee being the largest share.
Vietnam buys more U.S. soybeans than Brazil
In 2014, the United States sold 698,000 metric tons of soybeans to Vietnam to surpass the amount bought from Brazil, a USDA attache said this week.
U.S. soybean exports are expected to reach about 750,000 metric tons this year as Vietnam's domestic crushing increases. In the previous year, soybean meal imports totaled 3.64 million metric tons, up 14% from the previous year due to increasing demand from animal and aquaculture feed industries.
This sector continues to develop and the attache forecast that 2015 and 2016 soybean meal imports will slightly increase, to 3.75 MMT and 3.85 MMT, respectively.
Global Hotspots 4/9: Europe to export record amount of wheat
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