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Openfield loads 50,000 tonnes of barley for Saudi Arabia

The largest shipment of feed barley to leave the UK this crop year and bound for Saudi Arabia was loaded by Openfield this week. Carrying grain from more than 100 farms across the South West and West Midlands, it took five days to load the MV Courageous with its 50,000 tonne cargo.

MV Courageous

MV Courageous

Increased plantings in Autumn 2012 and Spring 2013 has left the UK with a larger than average surplus to export throughout the 2013-14 marketing year. Some of this season’s UK barley surplus has already been shipped to North Africa, principally Tunisia and Libya, but direct sales to Saudi Arabia are a rarity given the Kingdom’s preference for larger vessels loading between 60-50,000 tonnes of cargo.

mv courageous loading grain

One of the MV Courageous’s holds being loaded with feed barley at Portbury Docks. Openfield has storage for 20,000 tonnes on-site with the remaining 30,000 tonnes coming in by road over the five-day loading period.

The Portbury Grain Terminal which is operated exclusively by Openfield, Britain’s leading grain and farm inputs co-operative, is one of a few deep water facilities in the UK capable of handling the bigger ships needed to fulfil the Saudi buyers’ requirements, allowing Openfield to compete with other global barley suppliers and port facilities.

Openfield director of sales and trading Mark Worrell said the export was part of on an ongoing programme to capture value for members. “Exports are running at a brisk pace as we seek to capitalise on the early-season demand from the major importing nations. Having the ability to service larger vessels helps to secure the big orders and ensures we are able to deliver good prices to our members.”


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