The U.K. may be a net importer of wheat this season, after the wettest summer in a century cut yields and eroded the quality of crops, said Patrick Savage, the president of the Grain and Feed Trade Association.
U.K. exports may be about 500,000 metric tons, with most shipments consisting of lower-quality feed grains, Savage said today in an interview at the 52nd European Commodities Exchange in Edinburgh. Imports may be as much as 2 million tons, he said. During the 2011-12 season, the U.K. was a net-exporter of wheat, with shipments totaling 2.39 million tons and imports of 867,170 tons, customs data show.
June, July and August were the wettest in the U.K. since 1912, according to the Met Office. Grain weights, which can affect flour extraction, have been the lowest since 1977, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board said Sept. 21.
“The millers are the ones that are suffering most, and they’ll have to import more,” Savage said.
The U.K. harvest may be about 13.5 million tons, Savage said. Brussels-based grain lobby Coceral pegged the country’s crop at 13.6 million tons on Sept. 28, down from 15.3 million a year earlier.