Balance sheet shows small surplus before exports

The latest AHDB UK Cereal Supply and Demand Estimates have been published today. The estimates are based on data through to December and industry discussions. The balance sheet shows the deficit from November removed, with a surplus of 73Kt before exports are taken into account.

Through to December the UK had exported 116.7Kt of wheat; adding this figure into the balance sheet leaves a 43.7Kt deficit.

The reduced deficit is driven by a large reduction in the volume of wheat being consumed, which more than offsets the cut to production.

Production is cut by 475Kt, to 9.66Mt in line with the latest Defra data, published in December. Imports are also seen reduced, taking total availability to 14.20Mt, down 26% on last year. The tight picture for UK wheat this season has driven ex-farm feed wheat prices to a maximum premium over feed barley of £53.50/t, in the week ending 7 January*.

As a result of the increased premium of wheat over other feed grains, we have seen a large reduction in the consumption of wheat. Consumption of wheat in animal feed, including integrated poultry units, is seen 711Kt lower, at just 5.92Mt. The total reduction in demand is 814Kt, leaving wheat consumption in 2020/21 at just 12.62Mt.

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Early moves to target wild oats

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Growers and agronomists now face the dilemma of an early application to remove competition from emerged wild oats, or holding off to allow more weeds to germinate.

Syngenta grassweeds technical manager, Georgina Wood, urges Axial Pro treatment as soon as conditions allow, once weeds are actively growing.

“That offers the chance to control wild oats more cost effectively at lower rates, whilst there is still the flexibility to tailor application rates up to 0.82 l/ha for larger or over wintered weeds and difficult situations.

“The variability of crops and situations this season means decisions for appropriate Axial Pro rates and application techniques will need to be made on a field-by-field basis,” she advised.


Miss Wood urges...