Grain export facility re-opens in southern Britain

By Mike Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Export opportunities are up for grabs courtesy of the newly-opened Rye facility.
Export opportunities are up for grabs courtesy of the newly-opened Rye facility.

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A grain export facility at Rye, Sussex, in south-east England has re-opened after refurbishment for the export of wheat to continental destinations.

The facility, owned by transport and storage company Rastrum, will be operated by grain, seed and fertiliser merchant Gleadell Agriculture.

A Gleadell spokesman told “The refurbishment was carried out by Rastrum in return for a commitment from Gleadell to use the store and start a wheat shipping programme from Rye.​”

The upgrade of the 6000m tonne store focused on improving food safety standards and new fittings.

Europe markets

“There is good quality grain in the hinterland of Rye, so Gleadell sees an opportunity to source and export this to near-continent and Europe markets​,” said the spokesman.

Marc Rogerson, Gleadell’s trading manager, added: “After refurbishment and investment – including a brand new grain store for Gleadell’s exclusive use - we have just loaded the first of many cargoes in our new export programme from Rye.

“The port has not been used for regular grain cargoes for quite a few years, so our programme will give an additional outlet for the farmer customers of our southern office​.”

The first cargo loaded at the now mothball-free plant was 2000 tonnes of Cordiale milling wheat onto the MV Shetland Trader​. The vessel will transport the shipment to Scotland providing the country with new crop milling wheat about a month before its own new crop wheat harvest.

Rogerson said that such modest cargo sizes would be good for business because they avoided tying up large amounts of cash and store space. “Cargoes of 1,500 or 2,000t every three weeks are a better bet for our end user customers,”​ he said.

No information was available on the cost of the refurbishment.

Meanwhile, the company confirmed recently that it exported more than 20 percent of the UK’s wheat surplus from the 2010/11 season plus malting and feed barley, pulses and oilseeds.

Turkey and Mauritania

David Sheppard, the firm’s managing director, said: "Destinations have included a host of traditional markets such as The Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Portugal - plus some important new markets including Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey and Mauritania​."

The company’s export business at Immingham and Grimsby continues to thrive and to be a key market driver for its large hinterland, he said. Also, the Great Yarmouth facility was said to have performed well in its first full season.

For an island nation like the UK, export and import markets will continue to set the price agenda as domestic demand fluctuates wildly​,” said Sheppard.

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