A group of leading Saudi importers has purchased 360,000 tons of optional origin barley for Oct. shipment and another 265,000 tons of Ukrainian origin for Sept. shipment, trade sources said on Friday.
They said 360,000 tons of optional origin barley were purchased in the last few days by several private Saudi buyers from international suppliers at the price of $344 per ton C&F for October delivery in seven vessels to non-Jeddah Saudi ports.
A $14 per ton premium is set for delivery to non-Jeddah ports, traders say.
The barley origin was optional, although it most likely came come from the last cargoes still being shipped from Ukraine, the world’s largest barley exporter, whose barley exports have fallen after severe weather damaged crop.
An earlier deal last week for 265,000 tons of Ukrainian origin barley was purchased at $318 per ton C&F with eight to ten small vessels expected to unload their cargo in Jeddah port later in September, another trading source said.
Traders say the latest two large barley purchases bring total purchases by private Saudi firms to 2.5 million tons since end of December.
Alongside wheat, barley prices have surged since a drought devastated Russia’s harvest and the country announced a sudden grain export ban.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest importer of barley and most of it is used as animal feed.
While Saudi wheat supplies are managed by the state run Grain Silos and Flour Mills Organization (GSFMO), barley is privately imported.
Its imports of barley in the 12 months to July 2010 stood at 7.7 million tons, according to official statistics.