Finland to Procure More Grains for Emergency Stocks


Dec 13, 2022 | Agricultural Markets News

Reading time: 7 minutes

In 2022, the cultivated area of Barley was approximately 429,000 hectares in Finland. There were about 66,500 hectares of malting Barley. Most Barley is produced in Finland proper, South Ostrobothnia, Ostrobothnia, and Häme. Most of the Barley is used as livestock feed directly at the farms. Barley is also used in the malting, starch, and alcohol industry and the production of enzymes. Feed and malting Barley are also exported to the global markets.

This year, there was a total of 2.27 million hectares of agricultural land in use. Cultivated arable land was more than 2.03 million hectares, and more than half of it is in the cultivation of grain, oil, protein crops, and fallow. The 2021 cereal harvest totaled 2.6 million tons. The Barley harvest was one-third lower than average; the oat harvest was a quarter lower, and the rye and wheat harvests were a fifth lower than average. The Barley harvest hit 1.03 million tons, which decreased by 25%, while the Oats harvest, estimated at 790,000 tons, decreased by 34%.

The total organic cereals harvest for 2021 – 116,000 tons – was 26% lower than in 2020. The production of Oats decreased from 25,000 tons to 58,000 tons (-30%). The Barley production decreased by 10,000 to 12,000 tons (-46%).

Cereal crops are cultivated on roughly half of Finland’s field area. Four cereal crops are in wide-scale production in Finland: wheat, Barley, Oats, and rye. Organic cereal crops are cultivated on approximately four percent of the cereal crop cultivation area. Concerning wheat, Barley, and Oats, the production in Finland is sufficient to cover the domestic consumption of 5.5 million people. The total cereal harvest has averaged 2.5-4 million metric tons.

According to the National Emergency Supply Agency, the country will start procuring grain for the state’s emergency warehouses. The goal includes that the amount available corresponds to at least six months’ average human consumption. With the additional procurement, the total amount of grain reserve stocks will be increased to approximately 8.5 months of regular consumption. This growing season, the harvest was good, and there is enough grain for backup storage, says Jaakko Pekki, Head of the Agency’s operational department. 

Finland’s Oats Industry

The second most popular crop is Oats, cultivated on 335,500 hectares. Oats are a natural plant, so they are well suited for cultivation throughout Finland. Oat processing capacity has increased year by year, considering the domestic and export markets.

Oats contain beta-glucan, i.e., water-soluble fiber. The importance of Oats as an export product has grown throughout the European Union membership. Finland has particular expertise, e.g., for the cultivation of pure Oats, i.e., for the cultivation of gluten-free Oats. Oats are cultivated most in South Ostrobothnia, Varsinais Suomi, Hämee, Pirkanmaa, and Satakunta. Finland is the second largest exporter of Oats in the world. About 400,000 tons of Oats are exported annually.

In 2020, Finland exported Oats worth $92.7 million, making it the 2nd largest exporter of Oats in the world. In the same year, Oats was Finland’s 139th most exported product. The leading destination of Oats exports from Finland is Germany ($51.7 million), Netherlands ($14.7 million), South Africa ($7.19 million), Belgium ($6.81 million), and Switzerland ($3.41 million). The fastest-growing export markets for Oats of Finland between 2019 and 2020 were the United Kingdom ($2.32 million), Netherlands ($2.15 million), and South Africa ($1.92 million).

Although Finland has good export potential, it imports grains. Barley has been imported mainly from Estonia, Lithuania, and Sweden. Oats are imported from Sweden. Rye wheat has come to Finland from Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Sweden.

Other sources: MTVUUTISET

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