U.K. Wheat Imports Top Exports for 10th Month After Wet Harvest

The U.K. was a net-importer of wheat for a 10th consecutive month in March after wet weather reduced domestic supplies last year, the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board said.

Wheat imports during the month were 251,176 metric tons, against exports of 32,947 tons, the Kenilworth, England-based AHDB said in an e-mailed report today, citing customs data. Since the 2012-13 marketing year began July 1, imports total 2.12 million tons, compared with exports of 580,908 tons. In the same period a year earlier, imports were 664,800 tons and exports were 2.23 million tons.

The U.K. may be a net-importer of wheat this season for the first time in 11 years, the AHDB has said, after the second- wettest year on record in 2012 slashed the domestic harvest by 13 percent. The U.K. is the European Union’s third-biggest wheat grower.

“Net imports will be maintained until the end of the season,” Charlotte Garbutt, a senior analyst at AHDB, said by telephone today before the report. “Now we’re looking ahead into the next season and waiting for the crops to mature. The weather has been more favorable in the last week or two, but we can’t expect the crop to be a big one because planted area was not big for wheat.”

Germany was the biggest supplier of wheat to the U.K. in March, shipping 109,701 tons, followed by France and Canada, according to the report. The Netherlands was the biggest buyer of U.K. wheat at 26,402 tons in March.

U.K. barley imports were 28,710 tons in March against exports of 5,254 tons. Imports of corn totaled 164,192 tons, twice the amount as the same time last year, it said.

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