Moscow is lobbying Saudi Arabia to open its rapidly growing market to Russian wheat, giving it another destination to offload a record harvest and compete with supplies from the European Union.
Russian wheat has largely been barred from entering the kingdom for the past decade due to strict bug-damage rules, but the two nations have begun talks on starting up trade. It’s the latest sign of increased collaboration between the two in global commodities markets — the nations are leading a group of 24 nations that have cut oil production to lift energy prices.
Already a superpower in oil and natural gas, Russia sees itself as a growing player in global crop markets. While now the world’s top wheat exporter after taking market share away from key suppliers such as the U.S., markets such as Saudi Arabia and Algeria have remained elusive due to quality rules. If Russia can access Saudi demand, that could pose significant competition to sales from the EU, the largest shipper to the Middle Eastern nation.
(Source – https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-21/russia-is-eyeing-up-saudi-wheat-market-dominated-by-eu-supplies)