ONE of the largest grain shipments to ever leave the UK is safely on its way to the Middle East.
The Rosco Popular set sail from Port of Tyne at 1pm on Tuesday carrying 60,500 tonnes of barley.
It is expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia in 26 days’ time after travelling 4,150 nautical miles – through the Suez Canal – where its cargo will be used for animal feed.
The huge cargo being shipped almost matches the entirety of last year’s grain shipments from the port.
Last year saw 60,700 tonnes being handled at Tyne Dock, South Shields.
The cargo is also the biggest ever single dispatch from the port.
The barley was supplied by TyneGrain, a drying and storage co-operative owned by more than 100 farmer members in Scotland and North East England.
Although a large quantity of the grain was already stored at the port, lorries had been working around the clock to bring in extra barley from across the region.
Steven Harrison, Port of Tyne’s chief operating officer, said: “The operation to load the Rosco Poplar went very well.
TyneGrain are expecting another large export sometime soon and hopefully this shipment has demonstrated our ability to handle larger volumes of grain on a more regular basis.”