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UK Cereals and Oilseed Rape


02 September 2013

Cereal Stocks UK / England and Wales – June 2013 Cereal Stocks UK / England and Wales – June 2013

This release provides the tonnages of wheat, barley and oats held on farms in England and Wales and wheat, barley, oats and maize held by UK ports, co-operatives and merchants. It replaces the release published on 29 August to correct a percentage change in table1. This twice-yearly notice will next be updated in May 2014 and will show the cereal stocks held at the end of February 2014.

Key results:

Stocks of cereals held on farms in England and Wales in June 2013:

  • Stocks of own-grown wheat rose by 23% from June 2012 to 494 thousand tonnes. This increase for home grown wheat was expected due to the greater use of imported wheat following the poor quality of UK wheat from the 2012 harvest.

  • There was 91 thousand tonnes of own-grown barley stocks held on farms at June 2013, a rise of 44% from 2012. This could be due to the increased use of barley as animal feed, including grain fed on farm, in 2012/13.

  • Stocks of own-grown oats on farms were 4 thousand tonnes higher than at June 2012, standing at 18 thousand tonnes at the end of June 2013.

Stocks of cereals held at ports, co-ops and merchants in the UK at the end of June 2013:

  • Home grown wheat stocks were 562 thousand tonnes, very similar to those reported for June 2012. However stocks of imported wheat at 258 thousand tonnes were more than double those recorded at June 2012 which is consistent with the increased imports of higher quality imported wheat for milling and animal feed use due to the poor quality of the 2012 UK crop. Total wheat stocks were 820 thousand tonnes, 21% higher than at June 2012.

  • Own-grown barley stocks stood at 298 thousand tonnes, a 4.0% decrease on the 310 thousand tonnes reported for June 2012 with increased feed usage during 2012/13.

  • Imported maize stocks were 89 thousand tonnes. Favourable price relationships have meant that there has been increased use of imported maize for compound animal feed, substituting for wheat in rations.

Detailed results

Stocks at the end of June 2013

Figures 1 and 2 show the stocks of cereals held on farms and in ports, co-ops and merchants at the end of June 2013.

Figure 1: Stocks held on farms of own-grown grain at the end of June each year (England and Wales)

Due to poor weather during the 2011/12 crop year, there was a 13% decrease in the tonnage of wheat produced in the 2012 harvest and the quality of the wheat was poor. As a result there has been an increased demand for imported wheat stocks and farms still held 494 thousand tonnes of their own-grown stocks at the end of June 2013. This was an increase of 23% from June 2012. It is thought that the wheat still on farms is being kept back for animal feed due to the low quality.

Stocks of own-grown barley also increased with 91 thousand tonnes being held on farms in June 2013, a rise of 44% from June 2012. This is in line with the increase seen between the February 2012 and 2013 barley stocks on farms. There has been an increase in the use of barley as animal feed during 2012/13 for both compound feed product and grain fed on farm, which might explain the rise of barley stocks being kept on farms in June 2013.

There was a 4 thousand tonne increase in stocks of own-grown oats held on farms between June 2012 and 2013 to 18 thousand tonnes. This is back in line with the more typical anticipated stock levels, following an unexpectedly large increase (83%) in oats stocks between February 2012 and 2013. Similar to wheat, the quality of oats was adversely impacted by the weather. Consequently millers have had to import higher tonnages of higher quality oats with increased use of own-grown oats for feed.

Figure 2: Stocks held by UK ports, co-ops and merchants at the end of June 2012 and 2013

There was a notable 121% increase in the amount of stocks of imported wheat held at ports, co-ops and merchants at 258 thousand tonnes at June 2013 compared to the more typical 117 thousand tonnes recorded for the previous June. This is consistent with the much higher demand for imported wheat which reached almost 3 million tonnes during the 2012/13 season, compared to around 1 million tonnes for the previous two seasons. This was due to the poor quality of the 2012 UK wheat crop with imports being used primarily for milling but also other sectors such as feed.

Stocks of home grown wheat at 562 thousand tonnes were very similar to those held at the
end of June 2012 but with UK production of wheat being down 13% in 2012, they are higher
as a proportion of production. At February 2013, stocks of home grown wheat were 15%
lower than in February. Total wheat stocks at the end of June were 820 thousand tonnes,
21% higher than at June 2012.

Stocks of home grown barley were 298 thousand tonnes, 4.0% lower than in June 2012. This
is in line with the trend in stocks seen at February 2013. UK production of barley in 2012 was
slightly higher than in 2011. The quality of the UK barley crop has been reasonably good, not
adversely impacted by the weather to the same extent as wheat. Continued strong usage in
2012/13 by the brewing/malting sector and higher use for animal feed being, not off-set by the
reduced exports, has resulted in a small decline in stocks.

The tonnage of imported maize at February 2013 was 99 thousand tonnes, 25% higher
compared to the previous February. There has been greater demand for use of maize in
compound feed rations, replacing wheat, due to favourable quality and price comparisons.

Consequently imports of maize have been higher during 2012/13 so higher stocks of imported maize could be expected. At June 2013, stocks of imported maize were slightly lower at 89 thousand tonnes compared to 106 thousand tonnes in June 2012. These data are based on relatively fewer data points and may be influenced to a greater extent by the timing of any particular shipments in or out of store on the particular survey date. The stocks of home grown maize remain small; the amount of grain maize grown in the UK is very limited.

Stocks of home grown oats were 26 thousand tonnes compared to 17 thousand tonnes in June 2012. UK production of oats in 2012 was up 14 thousand tonnes but with some variable quality standards, imports for milling have been higher and exports lower, resulting in higher stocks.

Stocks at the end of February 2013

The figures below show the volume of own-grown grain still in stock on farms (figure 3) and
grain held in UK ports, co-ops and merchants (figure 4) at the end of February each year.

Figure 3: Stocks held on farms of own-grown grain at the end of February or March each year (England and Wales)

Figure 4: Stocks held by UK ports, co-ops and merchants at end of February 2012 and 2013

 September 2013

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