According to recent statistics of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), farms sold a total of 1.8 billion kilos of cereals in 2019. Rye only accounts for 6% of the total sales volume, while being enough to cover our food industry’s needs. At the end of 2019, commercial rye stocks were higher than ever before during the decade. Last year, average prices of cereals were slightly lower than in the previous year.
In 2019, Finnish industries and grain distributors bought a total of 1.8 billion kilos of cereals directly from farms – as much as in the previous year.
“Barley made up the highest proportion, i.e. more than one third. The oat volume transferred to the markets was 559 million kilos, 85 million kilos less than in the previous year. Wheat purchases also decreased from the year before to 427 million kilos. The rye volume was 100 million kilos, being enough to cover its annual consumption,” says senior statistician Sirpa Karppinen.
Cereal producers received a lower price per kilo
The production prices of cereals are monitored on a monthly basis. Accordingly, prices of all cereals fell at the end of summer 2019. The average price paid to farmers for basic-quality wheat in 2019 was EUR 175 per tonne, which is slightly lower than in the previous year. The average producer price for rye was EUR 168 per tonne, down by 7% from the year before. For barley, the average basic price in 2019 was EUR 166 per tonne, down by 4%. Correspondingly, the producer price for oats was EUR 171 per tonne on average, or 4% lower than in the previous year.
The feed industry is the largest consumer of cereals sold by farms
Finnish industries consumed more than 1.3 billion kilos of domestic and imported cereals in 2019. The food industry consumed one third of the total cereal volume, the feed industry nearly half, while other industries accounted for the rest.
The use of cereals in the feed industry decreased by 2% from the previous year. The most significant change took place in the use of barley, up by 25%. Correspondingly, the use of wheat and oats as feed decreased.
Consumption of oats increasing in our food industry
The food industry consumed 4% more cereals than in the previous year, while there were cereal-specific changes. The processing of unpeeled oats increased to 123 million kilos from the previous year’s 98 million kilos. The use of rye for food totalled 85 million kilos, showing a slight decrease from the year before. Wheat had the highest volume (225 million kilos), being at the previous year’s level.
Commercial cereal stockpiles at the lowest level in a decade
At the end of 2019, industrial and commercial stocks of cereals amounted to 500 million kilos of domestic and imported cereals, being one quarter lower than in the previous year and the lowest during the past 12 years.
Oats had the highest stockpiles (185 million kilos), down by one quarter from the corresponding period in the previous year. Correspondingly, barley stockpiles totalled 136 million kilos, also down by one quarter from the year before. Wheat stockpiles were the lowest in a decade at 89 million kilos, showing a decrease of 50 million kilos. Instead, rye stockpiles were the highest in a decade (88 million kilos), nearly covering the annual consumption of our food industry.
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. Price information about purchases is collected every month. 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.
More detailed information and tables related to the statistics are available from the Stat.luke.fi service.