November 17, 2011
UK's wheat availability for 2011/12 at 17.85 million tonnes
UK's total wheat availability for the 2011/12 marketing year is estimated at 17.85 million tonnes, according to the farm ministry.
Wheat production is expected to rise 3.3% on last season to 15.36 million tonnes, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said, thanks to increases in average yield and planted area.
As a result of this increased availability and the crop's good quality, the UK's wheat imports are expected to be lower than last season, Defra said, with its estimate falling 6% to 0.95 million tonnes.
A surplus of 2.72 million tonnes will be available for export or to be held as free stock, Defra said, 4% lower than the equivalent figure for 2010-11.
This lower surplus chimes with the slower pace of exports at the season's start, with wheat exports to the end of September standing at 0.56 million tonnes, compared to 0.86 million tonnes a year earlier.
Defra said wheat's usage as animal feed is forecast at 6.45 million tonnes, up 5% on last season, with this trend likely to continue at the expense of barley consumption given current prices.
The UK total barley availability is estimated at 6.61 million tonnes, Defra said, 5% lower than last season. Lower opening stocks and imports offset an increase in planted area and yields, which contributed to a production estimate of 5.64 million tonnes, 7% higher than last season.