Gleadellis loading the biggest vessel ever in Norfolk or Suffolk at its Great Yarmouth deep-waterfacility with more than 27,000t of feed barley. The cargo is destined forLibya, aboard the MV Fraga.
Thevessel is due to leave port on 23 September, bringing the total tonnage of feedbarley exported by Gleadell during the month to well over 50,000t, helping toget the UKs barley export programme off to a flying start. An earlier cargo of27,300t destined for Tunisia was loaded onto the MV Maritime Champion atImmingham, which departed on 11 September.
Keepingup a good export pace will be important this year, as the UK is likely to haveat least 1.5m tonnes of barley to market abroad, says Mr Sheppard. Its thebiggest surplus weve seen for several years. Weve had good winter barleyyields and a big increase in the spring barley area, which has also yieldedwell.
Toadd to the pressure Spain, one of the UKs traditional markets, harvested amuch bigger barley crop this year and could even be a small net exporter, saysMr Sheppard. Spain usually takes coasters from the UK; 3,0004,000t at a time.Alternative markets are priced much lower.
Thisseasons UK exports will largely be aimed at North Africa, in Handysize vesselsholding 25,000 plus tonnes. When it comes to the ex-farm barley price thedifference between a coaster and one of these ships is significant, says MrSheppard. With domestic barley trading at about 20/t discount to feed wheat,we need to be active in this export market.
Farmerswho trade with a company that has access to deep-water ports that can handlecargoes of 20,000mt or more will have an advantage. Given that we are in twosuch ports, at Immingham and Great Yarmouth, we would expect to ship asignificant percentage of the barley surplus this season and to be verycompetitive at farm level.
Mostbarley export tenders have been completed through to the end of October and newtenders are likely to pretty aggressively fought over if bearish productionand stocks estimates from the US and Europe continue to weigh on the market,says Mr Sheppard.
Jamie Frater, chief executive of Great Yarmouth PortCompany, said the loading of the biggest export vessel since Great Yarmouthouter harbour opened in 2010 was good news for the port, farmers and hauliers.
It is good to see the sizeable investment made byourselves and Gleadell being put to good use. Grain is an integral part of ourbusiness, as it was when we were a river port, which smaller vessels continueto use. The outer harbour was built primarily for North Sea operations, but itsability to take longer ships up to 200m long is the reason why Gleadellinvested 5m.
Loading a ship of this size benefits farmers in EastAnglia and further afield, down to Bedfordshire and up to Lincolnshire. And,with just under 1000 lorries needed to fill MV Fragas holds, it providedplenty of work for truck drivers too.
Its been very encouraging to show we can get avessel of this size in and loaded with no problems.