News Agriculture, Food, Statistic

According to recent statistics by the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), more oats were purchased directly from farms in 2018 than in the year before. Instead, the volumes of purchased wheat, barley and rye were lower. At the end of the year, cereal stocks, including domestic and imported cereals, were at their highest level in ten years.

“In 2018, Finnish industry and grain distributors bought a total of 1.85 billion kilos of cereals directly from farms. This is nearly the same amount as in the year before, but this amount was distributed differently between different types of cereals than before”, says Sirpa Karppinen, senior statistician at Luke.

In recent years, purchases of barley and wheat have decreased, whereas purchases of oats have increased. In 2018, the volume of purchased oats (644 million kilos) was nearly as high as that of barley (664 million kilos). The volume of wheat transferred to the markets was lower (484 million kilos). The volume of purchased rye (62 million kilos) has been lower, and it only comprises roughly 3% of the total cereal volume.

Less barley used in the feed industry

Finnish industry consumed more than 1.3 billion kilos of domestic and imported cereals in 2018. The food industry used a total of 422 million kilos of cereals, as in the year before, while the feed industry used 587 million kilos and other industries used 340 million kilos.

The use of cereals in the feed industry decreased by 6% from the previous year. The most significant change took place in the use of barley, down by 15%.

The volume of cereals used in the food industry was nearly the same as in the year before. However, there are differences in terms of the types of cereals used. The use of oats went up to 98 million kilos (+6%), exceeding the use of rye in the food industry (88 million kilos). Wheat had the highest volume (225 million kilos), down by 3% from the previous year.

Stocks of barley and oats increased

At the end of 2018, industrial and commercial stocks of cereals amounted to 649 million kilos of domestic and imported cereals, being 22% higher than during the corresponding period in the previous year.

“Cereal stocks last exceeded the level of 600 million kilos in 2009”, Karppinen says.

Oats (38%) and barley (29%) had the highest stockpiles. The volume of oats in stocks was 247 million kilos, being 66 million kilos more than during the corresponding period in the previous year. Correspondingly, the volume of barley was 190 million kilos, up by 53 million kilos. The stockpiles of wheat were the smallest, i.e. 140 million kilos. However, they also increased slightly from the year before. Instead, the stockpiles of rye decreased to 73 million kilos.

Background to the statistics

Information about cereal purchases is collected on a quarterly basis from all enterprises in Finland that buy cereals or rape and turnip rape directly from farms. Information about the use of domestic and imported cereals is collected on a quarterly basis from the food and feed industries and other industrial sectors that use cereals. Stockpile information is collected biannually from all enterprises that have cereals in stock at the end of June or December.