News brief: European grains

By Charlotte Eyre

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Uk wheat, Cereal, Ukraine

Ukraine grain exports are no longer restricted, European millers
are interested in UK wheat, and grains in cereals are good for the
heart wherever they come from.

Ukrainelifts grain restrictions ​The Ukraine government will next month cancel the 2006 grain export restrictions because of a recent surge in prices, the International Herald Tribune said today. The original restrictions were set in place last year after fears that adverse weather conditions would lead to a domestic shortfall. However, record prices have led to a U-turn from the Ukraine government, which is aiming to profit from a greater global demand for grain, the newspaper said. "Ukraine has a huge agricultural potential, and therefore it has a good chance to become one of the major players in global grain markets,"​ said Ukraine economic minister Ansatoly Kinakh. Last year drought conditions led to wheat exports from Ukraine declining 56 per cent to 2.8 million tonnes, down from 3.5 million tonnes in 2005. Whole grain cereals are heart healthy - study ​The heart benefits of whole grain bread and pasta have often been praised in recent years, but now scientists say that whole grain cereal also protects against heart failure. According to a report in last week's Archives of Internal Medicine, individuals who eat whole grain cereal for breakfast on a regular basis have a much lower risk of suffering from fatal heart diseases. Researchers from Harvard Medical School analysed the breakfast habits of about 21,000 men over a period of 19 years. According to their findings, 1,018 of the participants experienced heart failure during this time, including 362 of 6,995 participants who did not eat any cereal, and only 189 of 4,167 of those who ate seven or more servings per week. "Whole grains may help reduce heart failure risk factors such as hypertension, myocardial infarction, heart attack, diabetes mellitus and obesity,"​ researchers concluded. UK wheat in demand in Europe ​Spain, Portugal the Netherlands and Belgium have this year all shown a strong interest in UK milling wheat, according to the UK Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA). "The recent HGCA export visits were very encouraging about the prospects forUKwheat this season,"​ said Emma Finn, HGCA exports manager. "UKwheat was particularly wanted and some buyers were willing to pay a premium." ​Problems with sourcing wheat from other countries, for example a loss of quality with crops from France, had encouraged European millers to look to the UK, Finn claimed. Brands that will be popular include Robigus and Claire, which can both be mixed with continental varieties to meet specific baking requirements, she added. According to Defra, the UK produced 14,863 tonnes of wheat over the 2006/2007 wheat producing period, and around 2,148 tonnes were exported.

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