UK: Barley availability forecast for 202/21 increased
Total availability of barley in the UK is estimated at 9.529 mln tonnes in 2020/21. This is slightly higher (+5 thousand tonnes) than the February forecast, due to an increase in the import forecast. Total availability is up 319 thousand tonnes on last season, AHDB reported on May 27.
Imports are now forecast at 55 thousand tonnes in 2020/21, higher than in February but still 22% lower than in 2019/20.
Opening stocks are maintained at previous levels.
At 1.665 mln tonnes, human and industrial (H&I) consumption of barley is marginally (32 thousand tonnes) higher than the previous estimate. The partial resumption of out of home demand gives cause for cautious optimism. But barley demand is expected to remain restrained in the final quarter of the season due the lack of many major events. Total usage by the H&I sector in 2020/21 is expected to be 116 thousand tonnes down year-on-year.
At 5.316 mln tonnes, barley usage as animal feed is virtually unchanged from the previous forecast, and up 1.174 mln tonnes on levels reported in 2019/20. Although the price gap has narrowed recently, barley remains at a historically large discount to feed wheat. This continues to support high usage in rations. Further, it is anticipated that the discount and poor grass growth earlier in the spring has driven marked increases in the proportion of barley being fed on farm this season. Season to date (Jul-Mar) usage of barley in GB animal feed production (including IPU) is 41.1% higher year-on-year.
The balance of barley supply and demand is estimated to be 26 thousand tonnes tighter than in the February forecast, at 2.284 mln tonnes. Taking into account season to date (Jul-Mar) exports of 1.14 mln tonnes, total season barley exports are forecast at 1.20 mln tonnes. This is 33% lower than last season. This leaves 992 thousand tonnes to be carried through to next season, which is the lowest end of season stock level since 2011/12.
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