GRAIN EXPORTS for November are looking strong at around 350,000 tonnes, keeping the UK on target to sell this year‘s surplus.

Increasing freight rates had been making it harder for British feed wheat to compete in European markets, but this has stabilised, said Gary Sharkey, wheat director at Grainfarmers.

“We appear to have found a bottom on feed wheat,” he said.

“Vessel availability in the Black Sea has been harder, allowing the UK to recapture some of the markets into Eastern Spain.

“There have even been one or two enquiries from Italian buyers.”

Richard Whitlock, grain trading director at Banks Cargill, said that quality would not be high enough to see much soft wheat sold in Italy.

But feed wheat was up by some £4/t on the season‘s lows, he said.

Domestic premiums are also holding up, as traders continue to truck milling wheat from the south of the UK to northern regions, where the harvest was poorer.

High freight rates and a weakening pound were protecting the north against foreign grain imports, and prices were likely to remain high, said Mr Whitlock.