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Overseas market gives a boost to grain merchant

PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 June 2013

Paul Dowson, wheat trader/farm trader at Gleadell

Paul Dowson, wheat trader/farm trader at Gleadell

Archant

International grain merchant Gleadell said it is reaping the rewards of its Great Yarmouth facility that has boosted import and export orders despite a poor UK harvest.

The firm, which has a base in Swaffham, has looked overseas in the last two years when wet summers drove down the yield of the UK wheat harvest.

The business, which has made a return to the Royal Norfolk Show this year, has made the most of the low-quality crop by exporting produce to the Mediterranean.

And it has also managed to meet the demand from UK millers by importing high-quality wheat from Germany.

It comes after the firm invested £5m in a shipping/storage facility at Great Yarmouth’s Outer Harbour, which has shipped more 500,000 tonnes since opening in July 2010.

The facility provides East Anglian farmers a route to markets only available from the Thames or Humber and is the one of the few portside stores offering farmers drying for their crops.

Paul Dowson, farm trader at Gleadell, said its presence at the Norfolk Show is the first time a grain merchant has made an appearance since the 1970s, and he hoped it would encourage other agricultural merchants to return.

He said: “We have invested a huge amount into the Great Yarmouth facility, which is our only facility that is giving us a global access to markets from Norfolk.

“From the UK farmer, we have seen poor quality crops, which would not have been marketable in the UK, but we have been bringing that poor-quality wheat down to Great Yarmouth and shipping it out to the Mediterranean.”

He said he expects to see a smaller UK crop this year but a huge global crop, meaning prices are likely to remain low.

Gleadell’s, whose head office is based at Hemswell, Lincolnshire, trades with more than 6,000 farmers nationally and is the largest shipper from the UK, shipping more than 60pc of the UK’s cereals exports last year.

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