Dubai Billionaire to Spend $40M on Algerian Grain Silo
Al Ghurair Resources LLC, an agricultural commodities trader owned by the United Arab Emirates’ richest man, is investing $40 million to construct an additional grain storage silo in Algeria by the end of 2015, as part of its plan for securing grain for expanding populations across the Middle East and Asia.
The grain silo will have a storage capacity of 165,000 tons, according to Essa Al Ghurair, chairman of Al Ghurair Resources, and will be an addition to the trader’s existing grain processing facilities in Algeria, Sudan, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, and the UAE, where Al Ghurair’s sister company, Al Ghurair Foods, owns the kingdom’s largest flour mill with a production capacity of 2,400 tons per day.
Since 2007, food security and production has decreased in UAE due to a growing population that is expected to pass 10 million people by 2017, and lower crop output due to lack of rainfall and the reduction of groundwater resources. Crop production has fallen since 2007 from 3 million tons of vegetables, fruits, and field crops to 522,804 tons in 2013, according to a MEED Insight report released October 28 citing government data. Over the same time period, agricultural land area fell from 5,376 square kilometers to 3,823 square kilometers.
Al Ghurair Resources has seen sales grow between 10% and 15% in recent years, and will trade 5 million tons of grain this year, carrying a value of $3 billion, according to Al Ghurair. The group holds 300,000 tons of grain, or three months-worth of consumption, in Dubai, and is holding 30,000 tons of wheat for the UAE government.