Grain boost for Great Yarmouth’s port

A fifth of the grain exported last year by agricultural merchants Gleadell was shipped from the new facility at Great Yarmouth.

Cargoes were loaded for Mauritania, Portugal and other European destinations from the �5m investment in storage and ship loading facilities, said managing director David Sheppard.

'We have shipped over 550,000 tonnes of cereals, oilseeds and pulses since July 1and loaded two 25,000-tonne cargoes of UK milling wheat to Tunisia – a first for us,' he added.

'Grain has also been shipped to Egypt, France, Morocco, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain and Italy – to name a few – and these have been loaded in Immingham, Grimsby, King's Lynn, Ipswich, Dover, Southampton and Avonmouth as well as shipping 120,000 tonnes from our new facility in Great Yarmouth.'

While world wheat futures have rocketed to contract highs as the weather, in its many forms, continues to tighten the supply and demand situation for corn, wheat and soyabeans in Russia, Australia, North and South America, China and in the EU. And this week, July futures rose to �207 a tonne.

Mr Sheppard said that the amount of the 2010 UK crop left unsold was small, possibly 10pc to 15pc and, therefore, marketing decisions are more about movement and cashflow than about price.

'Prices are very attractive for farmers and no one can be called anything but sensible by selling some tonnage forward. Also 2012 is now well worth looking at too – for all commodities.'

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He questioned Defra's latest assessment of last year's UK wheat crop, which was announced to be more than 15m tonnes. 'Our view is that this is an overstatement of the crop, and it certainly does not feel like a 15m tonne crop.'

UK exports have continued at a rapid rate since August and Gleadell has played a leading role in this important market, as well as trading a record tonnage in the UK's domestic market. Mr Sheppard said that the future looked fairly rosy at the moment. 'We certainly welcome the growing bio-ethanol sector as it becomes a significant part of the UK market – but we remain convinced that the export market will continue to play a significant role in our market in future years.

'Those who are currently being tempted to commit grain solely to the bio-ethanol market are well advised to keep all their options open – and to see what each season brings us and which market opportunities best suit them as they appear,' he added.

Unsurprisingly, the star performer of the week has been rapeseed.

'Prices on the Matif rapeseed futures are up E17.50 on the week and an impressive E55 since the start of December. These high prices have, of course, been aided by the rally in the other outside markets, but the fundamental tightness of the supply situation in Europe – combined with the good processing margins for the crushers – is the key driver,' he added.