Last weekend saw Frontier Agriculture finish loading the MV Arklow Sea with 2,500 metric tonnes of oilseed rape (OSR) at Sunderland harbour. The ship, destined for Cargill's seed crushing plant in Antwerp, is the first shipment to be organised by Frontier from this port.
Andrew Wilkin, pictured with the vessel, is a farm trader for Frontier. He works with farmers in the North East and Yorkshire to find the best prices and homes for their grain and oilseed rape. Andrew explained: "This year has seen a bumper rape harvest, with yields well up on average. This means that finding profitable markets for OSR has presented additional challenges. However, our trading team has done a great job to access overseas markets and ensure timely movement of crop from farm, whilst still achieving a good price. This frees up essential storage space for later harvested crops such as wheat, and that's good news for our farmer customers."
Matthew Hunt, Director of the Port of Sunderland, added: "'We're very pleased to hear that farmers across the North East and in Yorkshire have enjoyed some bumper oilseed rape crops. Naturally, the Port of Sunderland was very happy to aid and accommodate Frontier with their shipping and cargo handling needs. We're able to offer a wide range of facilities here including bulk, unitised and project cargo-handling with rapid turnarounds. There's a history and tradition of Sunderland being a part of these long-established North Sea commodity trades and it's good to see that continuing with the loading and sailing of the MV Arklow Sea."
Increased demand for OSR from the UK is being driven by lower than usual yields in Europe, particularly in Germany and mainly attributed to recent wet weather.
Frontier has access to a wide range of markets for farmers' grain and oilseeds both in the UK and overseas, demonstrated by their extensive commitment to domestic crushing plants in Liverpool and Hull as well as overseas demand via ports such as Sunderland. The company also has access to export facilities at many other ports including their own facilities at Hull, Boston and Southampton.