The U.K. wheat harvest has come out to be smaller than previously predicted, but the country still faces the task of running down large stocks.
U.K. farm ministry Defra estimates the wheat harvest at 16.129 million tons, down 477,000 tons from the forecast provided earlier in the week by the NFU farmers’ group.
In March, feed manufacturer Wynnstay Group warned that U.K. growers are hoarding “significant” quantities of grain from the 2014 harvest. It said there are concerns the hoarding could exacerbate weakness in the U.K.’s wheat prices.
That report said “farmers are still holding significant stock from the 2014 harvest,' which for wheat saw production soar 39 percent to a six-year high of 16.61 million tons.
In March, it was estimated that the U.K. had an exportable surplus of 3.5 million tons of wheat for 2014-15, but had shipped only 1.08 million tons as of January. That is only 5,971 tons ahead of imports for the marketing year.
U.K. grain trader Gleadell said the overabundance of wheat 'would not matter if were exporting 300,000, 400,000 tons in October. But all we have had is a couple of rowing boats and an inflatable' in terms of vessels attracted.
The exporting market in the U.K. is slow due to good quality wheat that is coming out of the Black Sea area and France at little more than the price of U.K. wheat.