UK-EU barley and wheat trade stalls in January
The UK’s barley and wheat trade with EU countries stalled significantly in early 2021, as both buyers and sellers adjusted to the new post-Brexit trading environment. The slowdown came despite a tariff-free trade agreement being reached between both markets in December, and despite supply and demand fundamentals pointing to a stronger import/export pace for both crops in January. Barley shipments — the UK’s main grain export — totalled just 40,000t in January, which was the lowest volume the UK had exported over any month during the continuing 2020/21 marketing year to 30 June, and compared with an average export pace of 232,000 t/month over the fourth quarter of 2020. The January slump came despite exporters actively seeking new destinations to offload their record barley surplus, with domestic supply reaching its highest levels in 40 years at around 8.36mn t, data from the UK’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs show.
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