Foot-and-mouth threat to grain exports

By FWi staff

This seasons export campaign hangs in the balance, say grain traders, with buyers becoming increasingly uncertain about the safety of UK grain following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth.

Danish and Portuguese authorities have advised buyers against importing grain from the UK, and there are reports of a Tunisian shipment being forced to stop loading, according to Banks Agriculture.

And Steve Harrison of SCATS Grain says: “We have had two cargoes cancelled, one to Iceland and one to Poland, and a shipment that went to Sweden is in quarantine.”

“We just arent getting any new enquiries and havent done for two weeks.

“But today has been slightly busier with enquiries and within two weeks things will start to turn around.”

Soufflet Agriculture has also reported no new export business, says the companys David Doyle.

“There is much talk of countries refusing UK grain and this can only be negative on exports.

“Buyers are starting to look for alternative sources rather than take an unknown risk with our exports.”

“This is removing the possibility of the UK exporting more grain, and will lead to a bigger surplus and lower prices.

“There needs to be an official statement declaring that UK grain is safe.”

Old-crop May futures have already fallen 2 on the week to 71/t, due to lack of demand and uncertainty as to how the foot-and-mouth crisis will develop.

The spot market in unchanged to slightly firmer at 71/t with prices held up by increased short-term demand.

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