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UK Cereals and Oilseed Rape


28 August 2014

Cereal Stocks: UK / England and Wales – June 2014Cereal Stocks: UK / England and Wales – June 2014

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. These stocks are an important component of the cereal supply and demand balance sheet information. This twice-yearly notice will next be updated in May 2015 and will show the cereal stocks held at the end of February 2015.

Key results:

Stocks of cereals held on farms in England and Wales in June 2014:

  • Stocks of own-grown wheat decreased by 26% from June 2013 to 367 thousand tonnes. Production in 2013 was 10% down on 2012, which was also low, but quality was improved so demand has been strong.

  • There was 289 thousand tonnes of own-grown barley stocks held on farms, a rise of 47% from 2013. Production was up 28%. The increased use for brewing, animal feed and higher exports did not fully off-set the higher availability.

  • Stocks of own-grown oats on farms stood at 53 thousand tonnes, 35 thousand tonnes higher than at June 2013 but in line with the 54% in production and relatively weak demand.

Stocks of cereals held at ports, co-ops and merchants in the UK at the end of June 2014:

  • Total wheat stocks were 782 thousand tonnes, 5% lower than at June 2013. The stocks of home grown wheat were 547 thousand tonnes. Stocks of imported wheat were 234 thousand tonnes. Stocks in both 2013 and 2014 are approximately double the stocks levels typically reported in other recent years due to much higher imports of wheat for the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons following two low UK harvests in 2012 and 2013.

  • Stocks of home grown barley were up by a very significant 40% at 417 thousand tonnes. Similarly home-grown oat stocks more than doubled to 86 thousand tonnes. Increased use did not off-set the much higher availability, resulting in higher stocks.

  • Stocks of imported maize were 189 thousand tonnes at the end of June 2014, compared to 89 thousand tonnes estimated at the end of June 2013. Total imports of maize over the 2013/14 season were 2.4 million tonnes, just over 40% higher than the previous crop year.

Detailed results

Stocks at the end of June 2014

Figures 1, 2 and 3 show the stocks of cereals held on farms and by ports, co-ops and merchants at the end of June 2014.

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

The tonnage of own grown wheat declined by 11% in 2013 to 11,210 thousand tonnes. The quality of wheat is an improvement on the 2012 harvest and has encouraged the demand for home grown wheat. Farms held only 367 thousand tonnes of their own grown stock at the end of June 2013, a 26% decrease when compared to a year earlier. The higher stocks held at the end of June 2013, despite a low production was thought to be due to the low quality, resulting in a higher tonnage to be held back on farm for feeding to livestock on farms.

Stocks of barley have again seen an approximate 3 fold increase with 289 thousand tonnes held on farms in June 2014. This is equivalent to 6% of production compared to 2-4% seen in other recent years at the end of June. Production was up 28% in 2013 and whilst there has been increased use for brewing/malting and in compound feed production and higher exports, this has not off-set the higher availability, so resulting in higher stocks.

There was an increase in on farm oat stocks in June 2014 to 53 thousand tonnes, compared to 18 thousand tonnes a year earlier. The 2014 on farm stocks represent 7% of total oat production an increase in the 3% of total production on farm stocks seen in the previous 3 years. Production increased by 54% and whilst there was some increase in use by millers and for animal feed, demand was relatively weak so has resulted in higher stocks.

Figure 2: Stocks held by UK ports, co-ops and merchants at the end of June 2010 to 2014

Figure 3: Stocks of home grown and imported wheat held by UK ports, co-ops and merchants at the end of June 2010 to 2014

Stocks of home grown wheat at the end of June 2014 were 547 thousand tonnes, 3% lower than stocks held at the end of June 2013. Stocks of imported wheat were 234 thousand tonnes, 9% lower than those held at the end of June 2013. Total wheat stocks at the end of June 2014 were 782 thousand tonnes, 5% lower than at June 2013. Total wheat stocks have been higher at the end of June 2013 and 2014 compared to the previous two years due to much higher levels of imported wheat in both June 2014 and 2013, approximately double the levels seen at the end of June 2011 and June 2012. This is consistent with low production of UK wheat from both the 2013 and 2013 harvests with the quality of the 2012 adversely impacted by the weather also. This resulted in increased demand for imported higher quality wheat for milling but also for feed wheat for livestock feed. Imports of wheat reached almost 3 million tonnes in the 2012/13 season and 2.2 million tonnes in 2013/14 compared to a re typical 1.1 million tonnes.

Stocks of home grown barley were 417 thousand tonnes at the end of June 2014, a very significant 40% up on stocks held at the end of June 2013 but not quite as high as stocks at the end of June 2010. The higher stocks at the end of this current season are in line with the higher production from the 2013 harvest (up 28%) despite increased use of home grown barley by the brewing/malting sector and in compound feed rations for livestock and also higher exports which did not quite off-set the much higher production.

Stocks of home grown oats were 86 thousand tonnes which is more than double the typical levels. Production of oats in 2013 was up by 54%. Whilst there was some increased demand and use by millers and for compound animal feed for supply, demand did not meet the high supply, resulting in increased stocks.

Stocks of imported maize were 189 thousand tonnes at the end of June 2014, just slightly lower than stocks held at February of 203 thousand tonnes. Total imports of maize over the 2013/14 season were 2.4 million tonnes, just over 40% higher than the previous crop year with high demand mainly for animal feed but also other sectors. Imports in both the 2012/13 and 2013/14 season are high, compared to a more usual 1 million tonnes in other recent years. The stocks of home grown maize remain small; the amount of grain maize grown in the UK is very limited.

Stocks at the end of February

The figures below show the volume of own-grown grain still in stock on farms (figure 4) and grain held in UK ports, co-ops and merchants (figures 5 and 6) at the end of February each year.

Figure 4: Stocks held on farms of own-grown grain at the end of February or March each year (England and Wales)

Figure 5: Stocks held by UK ports, co-ops and merchants at end of February for 2010 to 2014

Figure 6: Stocks of UK and imported wheat held by UK ports, co-ops and merchants at end of February for 2010 to 2014

August 2014

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