LONDON Britain's wheat exports slowed in December but are still running ahead of last season's pace while imports rose, customs data showed on Tuesday.
Exports in December totalled 93,425 tonnes, the lowest monthly total so far in the 2016/17 season (July/June) with the Netherlands (26,697 tonnes) and Algeria (25,059 tonnes) the largest customers.
Cumulative wheat exports so far this season were 1.09 million tonnes, up from 992,086 tonnes in the same period in the 2015/16 season.
Dealers said exports had started strongly this season partly due to demand from Algeria which traditionally relies heavily on shipments from France which had a poor crop last summer.
A slowdown in the pace had, however, been widely anticipated as supplies of UK wheat tightened.
UK wheat imports rose in December to 173,456 tonnes, the highest monthly total so far this season, with Denmark the largest supplier (65,067 tonnes).
Cumulative wheat imports, however, remained slightly below last season at 840,175 tonnes, down from 863,030 tonnes.
(Reporting by Nigel Hunt, editing by Pritha Sarkar)