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Prairie Hay To Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia’s plan to phase out production of water-intensive crops including animal fodder has opened the doors for multimillion dollar deals with firms in the United States and Canada, traders said Mar. 29.

Saudi-based Al-Khumasia Company, plans to launch its $40 million crushing and packaging feed mill in July, Meshaal Al-Wetaid, its assistant general manager said on the sidelines of an industry event in Dubai.

“We will need to import 500,000 tonnes of animal feed and we are looking at getting this from Europe, U. S. and Canada since we can no longer grow the fodder in Saudi because of water shortages,” he said.

“It’s much cheaper for Saudi to import all water-intensive crops rather than growing them locally,” Wetaid said.

Green Prairie, a Canadianbased wholesale supplier of fodder, was looking to finalize a 150,000-tonnes fodder deal with Saudi Arabia’s Al Kholi Group over the coming few days, said Peter Ball, vice-president of marketing at Green Prairie.

“The demand for fodder is growing at a very fast pace in the Gulf and this is where most of our big contacts are,” he said. The fodder is used to feed the huge and growing dairy herds of the Gulf including camels, horses, sheep and goats.

Russia Lifts Import Bans On U. S. Pork

Eighteen U. S. pork plants will be able to resume shipments to Russia within days after Moscow lifted a ban that had closed the United States’ fifth-largest export market for several months, officials said March 26.

Russia’s farm produce watchdog is preparing to allow imports from even more U. S. suppliers in the near future, officials from the body said, after Washington agreed its supplies would be free of an antibiotic that violated Moscow’s food safety rules.

Russia and the United States have been involved in several disputes over meat supplies in recent years.

Russia’s concerns centred on the presence of the antibiotic oxytetracycline.

Some U. S. officials have said the bans could be politically motivated or linked to Russia’s plans to increase its self-sufficiency in pork and poultry meat.

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