Working with two industry wide groups, the Cereals Liaison Group and Arable Chain Advisory Group, we have been building the case for more timely release of import and export statistics.
Trade data on grain movement used to be available on a weekly basis via the EU Commission, but since January the UK has only published data on a monthly basis, some seven weeks after the end of the month.
This means that both government and business is poorly informed at a time when markets are volatile and there is great sensitivity over the pace of both imports and exports.
Defra ministers and officials appear to be sympathetic to the idea, but it seems that legislative change would be required to secure weekly release of data. We have therefore suggested that as an interim measure the government should encourage earlier release of the existing monthly trade figures.