The first shipment from Grainfarmers‘ new deepwater export facility at Southampton left last weekend (23 August).
The 3100t load of feed barley was destined for the Azores. Grainfarmers expected to ship similar-sized loads of milling oats to Norway and malting barley to Germany in the next week, before switching to milling wheat for the Mediterranean and North Africa.
“Although harvest is taking a long time to come in, at least 80% of what we’ve seen so far is decent marketable quality,” Grainfarmers southern director, Elved Phillips, said. “There are some pre-germination and Hagberg problems coming through, but they’re nowhere near as bad as they could have been, as crop maturity was a bit later than last year.”
The malting barley trade had picked up in recent days, possibly due to quality concerns for Scottish crops, he added. “I’m pretty sure some of the buying being done in the south will go by boat to Scotland. They have a strong demand for distilling barley varieties like Optic and, proportionally, the Scottish crop has taken a lot more damage than ours [in the south].”
With average spring barley yields over 7.4t/ha (3t/acre), there was plenty of southern barley to be moved, he added.