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Saudi Arabia: Bahri, Bunge Ltd form ocean freight joint venture

Bahri Dry Bulk Company (BDB), a subsidiary of the Bahri Group, and Koninklijke Bunge, a wholly-owned subsidiary of global agribusiness and food company Bunge Limited, have signed definitive agreements forming a joint venture (JV) to establish an ocean freight supplier for dry bulk import and export flows in and out of the Middle East region.

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 five million metric tonnes in its first year, ramping up volume over time to double-digit figures. BDB and Bunge will own 60% and 40% of the JV respectively, and it will be registered and based in Dubai. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Brian Thomsen, managing director, Bunge Global Agribusiness and CEO, Bunge Product Lines, said: “Bunge is excited to partner with BDB to strengthen our presence in the Middle East. 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. The JV combines Bunge’s expertise in providing freight services and risk management with BDB’s unique knowledge of Middle Eastern customers and their needs to address growing demand in the region.”

Ibrahim Al-Omar, chief executive officer, Bahri, said: “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. Their global presence in commodity flows and knowledge of the freight market, coupled with our maritime expertise and strategic position in the region, creates a powerful alliance to meet growing demand for freight services within the Middle East.”

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