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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with www.e-malt.com French
26 November, 2021

Barley news UK: Total barley availability 1.316 mln tonnes lower in 2021/22

UK’s total availability of barley is estimated at 8.246 mln tonnes in 2021/22, 1.316 mln tonnes lower than year earlier levels, driven by a forecast decrease in production and opening stocks, AHDB reported on November 25.

Production for 2021 has been provisionally estimated by Defra at 7.108 mln tonnes, 1.009 mln tonnes back on the year. With improved winter drilling conditions in 2020, a return to winter cropping was seen last season. As a result, the spring barley area, inflated by the previous seasons weather challenges, reduced. However, production reductions were softened slightly, due an increase in area to higher yielding winter barley and above average yields this season for both winter and spring varieties.

In 2021/22 the human and industrial (H&I) usage of barley is estimated to rise by 150 thousand tonnes on the year to 1.871 mln tonnes. From July to September the brewing, malting, and distilling (BMD) sector in the UK used 10.7% more barley than the same period in 2020/21. With the country continuing to recover post pandemic lockdowns, barley demand by the BMD sector is expected to grow to meet this recovering demand. However, labour shortages within the hospitality industry may limit growth back to pre-pandemic levels.

At 4.066 mln tonnes, barley usage in animal feed is estimated to be 1.240 mln tonnes lower than levels reported in 2020/21. While season to date (Jul-Sep) usage of barley in GB animal feed production (including IPU) is 15.1% higher year on year, this likely reflects more the lack of wheat availability at the start of the season. With the barley discount to wheat reducing since the start of September, wheat inclusions in rations are estimated to increase, at the expense of barley. Additionally, total cereals usage for animal feed is projected to decline, particularly in the second half of the season, as high costs and labour and logistical shortages result in some producers rationalising herds or exiting the industry.

The balance of barley supply and demand is estimated to be marginally smaller (-220 thousand tonnes) than 2020/21 at 2.088 mln tonnes. The decrease in consumption has not been to quite the same degree as the fall in availability, given the projected rise in the H&I sector. The estimated operating stock requirement of 740 thousand tonnes has been trimmed 50 thousand tonnes on the year. The result is a reduction in the surplus, of 211 thousand tonnes, to 1.348 mln. The UK has exported 267 thousand tonnes of barley from July to September, which leaves a total surplus to either be exported from October to June or carried over into next season as free stock of 1.081 mln tonnes.


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