Growing cereals for exports

AHDB Exports generates demand for cereals in overseas markets. Our activity helps prevent oversupply in the domestic market and sustain internal prices for cereals relative to world prices.

The role of AHDB cereal exports

ukp and uks

The ukp and uks classifications make it easier for overseas customers to choose milling wheat, for bread or biscuits, at the required specification. The system means buyers do not need to have detailed knowledge of UK varieties. Developed with industry over 15 years ago, the classifications have helped the UK to establish and maintain export markets.

The classifications, which complement the nabim grouping system for wheat, are clearly marked in the AHDB Recommended Lists. This helps growers identify varieties with export potential.

ukp = semi-hard varieties, suitable for both EU and non-EU bread-making.

uks = soft milling wheat, suitable for biscuit making, with low protein, high extensibility and low water absorption. Demand is particularly strong for uks.

Moisture content

In relation to maximum moisture contents, North African and Middle Eastern markets prefer a lower moisture content, often less than 14%.

Chopin Alveograph

The W and P/L values are determined by Chopin Alveograph tests conducted on over one thousand wheat samples. The results give an indication of end-use potential. W represents a measure of the baking strength of a dough. A higher number represents a stronger flour. L represents the extensibility of the dough (time taken for a bubble to burst). P is the maximum pressure required. A low P/L measure represents a dough that is very extensible with low strength.

Download the Chopin Alveograph Guide

Chopin Alveograph and Wet Gluten survey results (harvest 2021)

Chopin Alveograph and Wet Gluten survey results (harvest 2020)

Why grow for exports?

There is a core market overseas and growers can capitalise on these opportunities when choosing varieties to grow. If you farm within an 80 mile radius of a port, your local market could be anywhere in the world.

In the previous three seasons (2015–2018), the UK exported 4.7 million tonnes of wheat, the main markets being Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands. For these markets, the UK has been a reliable source of wheat for many years. The versatility and consistency of our wheat is favoured.

If you want to grow for export, talk to potential buyers, including exporters, and research their market needs. This includes information on the countries they supply, the specifications required by their customers and the varieties that are most important to them. This information will help you decide which variety to grow.

What the customers think