Cereal exports to Spain might be on increase
EXPORTS of UK wheat to Spain are set to climb once Agenda 2000 proposals, which favour production in high yielding countries, start to bite.
Mediterranean areas, with yields typically a third of UK output, will move towards alternative crops or even set-aside. That will exacerbate the decline in Spains wheat area over the past decade, says Pedro Palomo of O Palomo, one of the countrys biggest wheat buying companies.
UK wheat need not be top quality, but it must meet millers specifications, says Mr Palomo. "The Spanish miller is a champion mixer and is not always after the highest quality wheat.
"What he is after is the exact knowledge of the characteristics of the product. Wheat growers must get a detailed grip of the quality of their wheat beyond moisture, protein and test weight." W, P/L and gluten values are also needed.
"The farmer, merchant or co-op that can give the most details about his product is the one who catches the best price."
• This season the UK is on track to export 1.3m tonnes of wheat to Spain, surprising given earlier quality fears, says Alan Almond of British Cereal Exports. That is almost a third higher than last year. The Spanish reckon 0.5m tonnes went for human consumption, and 0.8m tonnes for animal feed, reversing the usual trend. *