UK wheat exports expected to double for year ahead


British wheat exports are expected to double for year ahead and remain on track for the strongest year on record, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

Market commentary released last week revealed that UK wheat exports for the period from June to January are up by 61% on the the same period last year. At the same time, wheat exports this season are forecast to more than double 2021 figures, with 500,000 tonnes of grain expected to be sold overseas.

The ADHB report revealed that UK wheat is priced competitively, due to a price difference of around £25 per tonne between Paris and UK futures.

This sign of “export competitiveness” indicates that Britain’s wheat is performing well on the international markets. There have also been anecdotal reports that UK wheat remains competitive, with 261 tonnes of wheat being exported between July and January, and reports of a strong export pace since.

Read more: Bread prices could surge by 20% as price of wheat hits 9 year high

This rise in exports followed an uptick in domestic production, with a jump of around 4.3 million tonnes in 2021 compared with the year before, when wheat yields plummeted due to poor growing conditions.

ADHB also said that overall supply and demand remained “tight” and limited product availability, with UK imports down 26% year-on-year for the period between July and January.

“Demand is expected to persist, but origin sources and strong freight and haulage costs could prove challenging,” it said. The use of home-grown wheat is likely to increase as a result.

The current Russian invasion of Ukraine has had a significant impact on the forecasted trade for global wheat contracts, and this is set to continue with large price movements on contracts.

This is to be expected, according the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organisation, which said the ongoing conflict “raises concerns on whether crops will be harvested and products exported” from Ukraine.

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