Large UK milling wheat shipment heads to Algeria

A big shipment of UK milling wheat is heading to Algeria, thanks to the good quality of the 2016 harvest.

Gleadell loaded 25,000t at Great Yarmouth earlier this week, the largest shipment of grain to leave East Anglia so far this season.

The MV Occitan Sky was loaded with a cargo of 11% protein, 220 Hagberg and 78kg/hl wheat.

These are the standard Algerian grain agency milling wheat requirements that earn growers a premium of £4-£8/t over feed value.

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“Despite the smaller UK crop, the yield and quality disaster that hit the French wheat crop has provided opportunities for UK milling wheat to be shipped to North African destinations,” said Gleadell trading director Jonathan Lane.

“This, combined with some reasonable feed wheat exports, means the UK will have shipped in the region of 1.1m tonnes by the end of December.

“The Algerians have more to buy, but we are currently £7-£8/t too expensive,” said Mr Lane.

Increased use of wheat in UK bioethanol plants and a smaller crop had tightened the domestic wheat balance sheet, with use for compound feeds also rising this season.

Grain ship

UK wheat exports have reached their fastest pace for six seasons, hitting 859,000t by October.

In contrast, barley exports have been at their lowest level for four years, with a total 430,000t shipped by October, compared with 507,000t at the same point last season.

Barley use for feed is down 10% and the gap between feed wheat and feed barley prices has grown to about £20/t.