In modern history Chinese interest in the Arabian Peninsula can be traced back to the 17th century and is occasionally cited as an example of early globalization. In truth, it was the ancient world that spawned the first trade links, on the rough-hewn desert trails which became collectively known as ‘The Silk Road’.

For two thousand years, from 1500 BCE to the Middle Ages, traders plied their wares on a 4000-mile network of caravan tracts, exchanging knowledge and culture as well as goods. While China and Europe were each other’s principal markets, the stamina of Arabian camels – and the attractions of scents such as Myrrh and Frankincense – also made Arabia a valued trading partner.

At the crossroads of East and West, the Gulf was perfectly positioned geographically to become an important trade hub in its own right. As it was then, so it is today, with the lessons of antiquity learned, revered – and adapted to the demands of modern day trade and commerce – by Al Ghurair Resources.

With more than 40 years experience in the field of agricultural commodities, Al Ghurair Resources specializes in Grains, Oils, Proteins and Pulses – providing agricultural raw materials to manufacturers and traders of foods, bio-fuels and animal feed. In particular the company helps meet the soaring global demand for Canola – and nowhere is that demand higher than in China!

China – the ‘Middle Kingdom’ – is today the world’s biggest importer of agricultural commodities. Al Ghurair Resources is the biggest supplier in the Middle East. It was no surprise therefore when ‘AGR’ began exports of canola oil to China in 2006 – and sought to extend that to canola meal in 2009.

Since then it has taken five years of dogged determination to climb the ‘paper mountain’ of applications, tests, approvals, permissions and ever-changing rules relating to foreign imports into China. But finally patience paid off, and March 2014 was a time of celebration as AGR’s first China-bound shipment of canola meal sailed from Jebel Ali Port.

Jebel Ali is also the location of AGR’s own Crushing Plant which has a record-breaking canola crushing capacity of 4000 metric tonnes of canola seed every single day, giving the company a combined production and logistics advantage that no competitor can match.

Canola meal is a valuable ingredient in animal feed and is prized by cattle and poultry farms, fisheries and feed producers around the world. While there are other alternative protein meals currently in use by the Poultry and Dairy industries, canola meal delivers distinct advantages, including higher milk yields and lower costs.    

China is a potentially huge market for Al Ghurair Resources and one that it is totally committed to. It is already the company’s number one market for Oils – importing 40,000 tonnes every month – and now canola meal is set to boost this important trade partnership even further.

Cracking the Chinese market is not easy. It takes time. But the Chinese have a saying: ‘Good things take time’ – a lesson passed down from forefathers who forged the first links of trade and kinship with their Arab brothers on the Silk Road…and other long dusty trails of antiquity a millennia and more ago.