RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA — Saudi Arabia’s state grain buyer, SAGO, is asking Saudi investors with farmland overseas to import 355,000 tonnes of wheat into the kingdom in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Reuters reported on April 7.

SAGO Governor Ahmed al-Fares said on April 6 that SAGO was making a special call to Saudi investors abroad to supply 10% of the country’s wheat needs.

In response to the pandemic, major wheat exporters such as Russia and Ukraine have indicated they would limit exports in the coming year to ensure an ample domestic supply.

SAGO typically buys wheat through international tenders. Reuters reported that it was unclear whether the quantities to be purchased from investors overseas would be purchased through a regular SAGO tender, in which these investors would be allowed to participate, or if the process would be different.

Saudi Arabia imports most of its wheat from the United States, South America, Australia and Europe.

The country is forecast to import 3.2 million tonnes of wheat in 2020-21, according to the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture.

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