RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA — Saudi Arabi’s state grain buyer SAGO plans to purchase 10% of its wheat from Saudi-controlled companies abroad, according to the Hellenic Shipping News WorldWide.

In order to be eligible, Saudi investors must own at least 51% of the company and produce 5,000 tonnes of wheat in the same country the Hellenic Shipping News WorldWide reported.

It is required that interested companies be registered at Saudi Arabia’s ministry of environment, water and agriculture.

“SAGO will issue the tenders, with prices in line with international markets,” the online daily newspaper said. “SAGO said this month it will relax its insect damage specifications for wheat imports from its next tender onwards, opening the door to Black Sea imports and strengthening ties with Russia.”  

In late July, SAGO announced it was ready to begin the next phase of its flour mills sale. The sale is one of the first privatizations Saudi Arabia is planning as part of a wide-reaching overhaul of its economy. It has attracted interest from some of the world’s largest agribusiness firms, including Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Bunge Ltd.

SAGO is one of the world’s largest wheat and barley buyers. Saudi Arabia has been a major wheat importer since 2008 when it abandoned its plans for self-sufficiency.