The UK exported 169,429t of wheat in December, taking exports for the first half of the season to 953,594t, according to latest data from HM Revenue & Customs.


That represents 44% of the forecast exportable surplus, although traders estimate the figure should be higher, at over 1m tonnes. If correct, it leaves 1.2m tonnes to export during the second half of the marketing year – equivalent to a monthly average of 201,123t. Wheat imports for the same period amounted to 734,191t – 75% of the total season estimate, says the HGCA’s Market Report.

Barley exports totalled 491,956t between June and December. Even with net intervention offers of 70,570t, that only accounts for 28% of the forecast surplus. “If export/intervention rates don’t increase this may mean a significant increase in carry-over stocks.”

Meanwhile, French analyst Strategie Grains has increased its forecast of 2010/11 EU wheat production by 1m tonnes, to 134.7m tonnes. That is, 4.8m tonnes above the 2009/10 estimate, with UK production pegged at 16.2m tonnes. However, it reduced its spring barley estimate due to lower planted areas than anticipated, putting forecast total barley production down by 1m tonnes, to 57.2m tonnes.