Danish wheat found wanting by the global market

Buyers more aware of lacking protein content

Danish wheat not considered too golden (photo: iStock) Danish wheat not considered too golden (photo: iStock)
June 1st, 2015 3:10 pm| by Christian W

Over the past 25 years, the quality of Danish wheat has fallen to such an extent that other parts of the world purposely avoid Danish wheat when they purchase wheat on the EU wheat market.

According to the two largest Danish agro business groups DLG and Danish Agro, the number of orders asking to be exempt from Danish wheat has increased.

“Until recently, customers have just ordered EU feed wheat, such as a ship load of 30 tonnes,”  Jesper Pagh, the deputy head of DLG, told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

“But now we are beginning to hear that customers, such as in Asia, are ordering EU wheat often accompanied with a ‘Danish excluded’ tag. Other customers accept wheat from Denmark, but only at a reduced price.”

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Becoming critical
One of the issues is the lack of protein. Last year, there was 27 percent more protein in German feed wheat than in its Danish counterpart. There was also 40 percent more protein in German wheat in general.

The protein content is essential to the quality of wheat, especially in feed wheat, and therefore its value. The protein is the fuel that helps farm animals grow and produces milk, muscle and eggs.

Pagh underlined that the Danish wheat problem is nearing the point where it will either be rejected or purchased at a reduced price on the global market.

The decline in the levels of protein in Danish wheat are generally blamed on fertiliser limits introduced in the 1990s.