August 27, 2008


UK 2007-08 wheat exports drop 30 percent on-year


UK 2007-08 (July-June) wheat exports of 1.5 million tonnes were down 30 percent from the previous season, customs figures released through the UK Home-Grown Cereals Authority said Tuesday (August 26).


The decline was due to a sharp drop in exports to Spain and Portugal, which had improved harvests from the previous crop year.


UK exports to Spain dropped 62 percent on-year to 449,836 tonnes, but Spain remained the largest destination for UK wheat. Exports to Portugal fell 39 percent on-year to 185,364 tons.


This was partially offset by increased exports to countries outside the EU, especially into northern Africa.


UK wheat exports to Morocco tallied 64,741 tonnes, up sharply from 5,250 tonnes in the season before, with 52,500 tonnes to Tunisia after shipping none in 2006-07. Exports to Algeria came in at 20,407 tonnes after just 19 tonnes last season.


But at the same time wheat imports into the UK were up 49 percent at 1.4 million tonnes, to nearly match the export figure. UK imports higher-quality wheat to blend with its own wheat to achieve specific baking standards.


Moving into 2008-09, the UK export surplus is expected to be up sharply on the year after farmers increased plantings in response to record high prices and favorable summer growing weather. However, much of the 2008-09 crop remains in the field and the quality of the crop is not yet clear.

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