Saudi, US firms sign deal to form ocean freight JV

(Image: Bahri)

A subsidiary of the national shipping arm of Saudi Arabia has signed a joint venture agreement to establish an ocean freight supplier for dry bulk import and export flows in and out of the Middle East region.

Bahri Dry Bulk Company (BDB), a subsidiary of Bahri Group, and Koninklijke Bunge, a unit of US-based Bunge Limited, a global agribusiness and food company, announced the agreement on Wednesday.

The JV, which will operate under the name Bunge Bahri Dry Bulk Ltd, will provide exclusive freight transportation services to regional and other international customers.

The company plans to ship over 5 million metric tons in its first year, ramping up volume over time to double-digit figures, a statement said.

It added that BDB and Bunge will own 60/40 percent of the JV respectively, and it will be registered and based in Dubai. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Bunge buys, sells, stores and transports oilseeds and grains and is headquartered in New York.

"Bunge is excited to partner with BDB to strengthen our presence in the Middle East," said Brian Thomsen, managing director, Bunge Global Agribusiness and CEO, Bunge Product Lines.

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"We expect the JV to become a carrier of choice for customers importing grains and other agricultural commodities in the Middle East, as well as for dry bulk exports outside of the region."

Ibrahim Al-Omar, CEO, Bahri, added: "This JV is one of BDB's strategic initiatives to reduce complexity for our customers along the value chain. Working with a leading global player in commodity trading brings the necessary commercial and market intelligence to dry bulk supply and demand fundamentals, and Bunge brings crucial expertise and scale to the table."

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