Agribusiness giant Bunge is teaming up with one of the Middle East’s largest shipowners, Bahri from Saudi Arabia, to form a new dry bulk venture.
The JV, which will operate under the name Bunge Bahri Dry Bulk, will provide exclusive freight transportation services to Middle Eastern and other international customers. The company plans to ship over 5m metric tons in year one, ramping up volume over time to double-digit figures.
Bahri and Bunge will own 60/40% of the JV respectively, and it will be registered and based in Dubai.
“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,” said Brian Thomsen, managing director of Bunge Global Agribusiness.
“[Bunge’s] 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,” said Bahri’s CEO Ibrahim Al-Omar.
The JV will charter and commercially operate supramaxes and panamaxes initially from the fleet currently owned or managed by Bahri and subsequently from third parties.
Best known as a tanker operator, Bahri’s dry bulk division is a 60/40 joint venture between Bahri and Arabian Agricultural Services Company (ARASCO). It registered a growth of over 300% in cargo volumes during 2016, and has laid out a goal to capture about 14m by 2020.