Highest UK wheat stocks on record

UK wheat stocks at the end of 2015/16 increased by 34% year-on-year to the highest on records going back to 2007, according to the latest Defra cereals stocks survey released this morning.

Isobel Robinson, Analyst with the AHDB says wheat stocks recorded as at the end of June, which exclude on farm stocks in Scotland and Northern Ireland, were 2.7Mt in 2015/16 compared to 2Mt in 2014/15.

She says this is also higher than Defra’s May estimates for commercial end-season stocks, of 2.5Mt. The higher stocks reflect the increase in total wheat availability, coupled with lower consumption despite a particularly strong export campaign seen this season.

“The survey was sent out to be completed as at June 24 (the end of the statistical month) which would not usually be an issue in any normal year.

“However, this year with the EU Referendum, the last week of the season could have seen some more exports due to the weaker sterling.

“Therefore, there is the potential that the survey estimation could be a little higher than expected but this is a factor that will be considered for the final balance sheet released in September,” she said.

Barley

In terms of barley, the AHDB says stocks were 2.2% lower at the end of 2015/16 at 0.77Mt (0.78Mt in 2014/15).

Robinson says this fall is in line with industry expectations with Defra’s May balance sheet estimating a 4% year-on-year increase in demand for barley as animal feed and again a strong export campaign saw 1.99Mt of barley leave the UK.