THE NFU, DEFRA and grain traders have all reached similar estimates of the UK wheat crop this year – within a few thousand tonnes of the official figure of 15.7m tonnes.

That is a 10% increase on the year and would leave an exportable surplus of around 3.5m tonnes.

Allied Grain‘s group shipping manager Mark Chamley said UK exports had reached about 550,000t between July and September, and it was likely October would see 350,000t shipped.

“The pace has picked up a bit, mainly to destinations in Portugal and Spain. But we are unlikely to be able to compete outside the EU, unless Brussels changes its policy on restitution,” he added.

Traders remain confident of exports reaching 1m tonnes by Christmas, and said a weaker pound at the end of last month had helped domestic prices to firm on the back of exports.

Spot feed wheat values averaged just over £60/t on Weds, Oct 20, but some traders were quoting £64/t for December movement.