Impact of 2012 harvest shifts export picture

UK wheat exports are 77% down on last season as quality and yield pressures make their mark across the trade.

Exports in August were just 26,800t, taking the total for the season so far (July and August) to 65,000t against 282,000t in the same two months last season.

In contrast, imports for the July/August period stand at 340,900t, more than double last year’s figure. August alone saw more than 185,000t brought in. This is the largest August monthly figure in recent years, with the late harvest and UK wheat quality issues pushing users to take cover with imported supplies, said the HGCA.

The barley trade balance is healthier with 187,000t leaving the UK in July and August, way above the previous season’s 131,000t. Exports to other EU member states were at a similar level to last year but a 42,000t shipment to the world’s largest barley importer, Saudi Arabia, significantly increased the third-country figures.

Barley imports to the end of August were 19% lower than in 2011.

The brisk start to UK rapeseed exports saw 256,400t shipped in the first two months of the season, well above the 169,000t of the same period in 2011.

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