World Grain - June 2018 - 24
Already dominating its domestic
market, KFMB is planning to expand
its milling and baking capacities
by David McKee
ew millers dominate their domestic market like
Kuwait Flour Mills & Bakeries Company S.A.K.C.
(KFMB). With massive port storage for imported
cereals, nearly 3,000 tonnes of daily milling capacity,
a chain of nine industrial bakeries and a range of processed products, the wholly state-owned company plays
critical economic, social policy and food security roles
in the oil-rich country of 4.4 million while generating
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$123 million in 2016.
Earlier this year, World Grain interviewed KFMB's
longtime top production executive, Abdulla Al Wahaibi.
He spoke openly about the company, which employs nearO\DQGLVWKHFRXQWU\¶VORQHZKHDWÀRXUSURGXFHU
Milling in Kuwait got its start around the time of
Kuwait's independence from Britain in 1961 with majority private and minority government investment in a
120-tonne-per-day Simon Robinson mill with a silo.
Today, nearly all KFMB's milling and grain storage operations are at a single 50,000-square-meter site on the Al
Shuwaikh port in Kuwait City. The complex houses six
milling lines totaling 2,850 tonnes of daily capacity. The
two newest are 750 tonnes per day supplied by Ocrim in
equipment to Kuwait in 1972. A recently expanded feed
mill can produce 500 tonnes per day of a wide range of
animal feed products. KFMB has total storage capacity of
375,000 tonnes at the port in concrete elevators.
"This is the biggest grain storage at one single location
in the Middle East," observed Al Wahaibi, adding "there
are three sections or complexes for wheat, yellow maize
and barley. The tallest has a cell height of 59 meters."
KFMB's food security role hinges on the large stocks it
KROGV6XI¿FLHQWZKHDWWRPHHWIRXUWRVL[PRQWKVRIFRQsumption is kept on hand as a strategic reserve, he noted.
A two- to three-month supply of corn and barley for feed
is maintained as well. USDA data show Kuwait's wheat
imports have been stable, averaging just under 500,000
WRQQHVDQQXDOO\RYHUWKHODVW¿YH\HDUV7KHQDWLRQ¶VFRPbined imports of barley and corn for feed have been as
high as 800,000 tonnes per year, Al Wahaibi said.
Australia is the sole wheat source with the exception of
about 50,000 to 60,000 tonnes of durum and CWRS normally imported from Canada for pasta and high protein
bread. One swing mill is utilized for semolina. Corn and
barley originate in Argentina, Australia and the Black Sea.
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the draft is only 9.6 meters, limiting the maximum wheat
delivery to 46,000 tonnes. There is a single berth but 400DQGWRQQHSHUKRXUVKLSXQORDGHUVSHUPLWRIÀRDGLQJ
at 1,000 tonnes per hour and rapid vessel turnaround.
KFMB's own bakeries produce 4.5 million pieces per day.
Al Wahaibi estimates the sales price represents about
50% of the production cost. The Kuwaiti government provides a direct subsidy so that KFMB can carry out this soFLDOZHOIDUHSROLF\DQGPDNHDVPDOOSUR¿WDVZHOO2YHU
KFMB operates a central bakery that consumes about
100 tonnes per day for production of European style rolls,
buns and toast bread. McDonalds, KFC, Burger King,
Pizza Hut and Subway are just a few of the numerous international fast-food restaurant chains in Kuwait that depend on KFMB to reliably supply standard baked foods or
June 2018 / World Grain / www.World-Grain.com