A 66,000t cargo of wheat, believed to be the biggest ever to leave UK shores, is being loaded at Associated British Ports Port of Immingham.
The shipment, put together by Gleadell Agriculture,is the largest for at least 30 years. Records are almost impossible to trace further back.
The wheat, sourced from fields across Lincolnshire and the EastMidlands, is destined for Thailand, and is expected to take 5-6 days to load.
MV Pire as loading 28 April through to 3 May atHumber international Terminals (HIT), part of Port of Immingham.
Max 66,000t feed wheat sourced by GleadellAgriculture, destination Thailand.
Cargo sourced from nearly 300 farmers in Lincolnshire and East Midlands.
Equivalent to 2,275 artic lorryloads, or about6500ha of wheat.
Work on a 24hr basis until completion (subject to weather).
Loaded direct ex quay by two mobile cranes, each with circa 30t grab capacity (equivalent of just over one lorryload).
Cargo being delivered quayside on a 24hr basis by trucks both directly ex-farm and from quayside storage.
The shipment has been made possible by cooperation between farmer suppliers, Gleadells logistics and trading team and ABP staff at Immingham.
The shipment marks a significant upturn in export activity from the UK,which has been uncompetitive with exports to Europe, the main export market, this season, says Jonathan Lane, trading director at GleadellAgriculture.
UK merchants have had to look further afield to sell grain and, thanks to the firmer dollar and cheaper freight rates, that grain has become more competitive, which has opened up distant markets such as Thailand.
UK exports have picked up sharply as a result, and now feature the biggest non-EU monthly shipments since 2000.
While this large-cargo trade to Asia will help make up for the earlier lack of exports, the UK could still carry out higher than usual stocks of wheat at the end of this season.
This level of stocks, together with an improvement in US and Russian new crop prospects, higher-than-expected wheat plantings in Canada and another bumper crop expected in the EU, suggests prices are unlikely to rise in the short term, says Mr Lane.
At the end of this week old crop futures were trading at contract lows for the season, and new crop futures are worth about120/t for Nov 15, 16% lower than at the beginning of January.
However, currency is another key factor in determining grain prices, and who knows what will happen to sterlings value compared with other currencies once the outcome of the general election becomes clear, says Mr Lane.