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U.K. Wheat Availability, Use ‘Finely Balanced,’ HGCA Says

March 28 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. wheat availability and consumption remain “finely balanced” as domestic use declines and exports remain “strong,” the Home-Grown Cereals Authority said.

Wheat available for export and storage may total 2.62 million metric tons, up 3.2 percent from a forecast at the beginning of the year, according to the report e-mailed today. About 1.8 million tons of the wheat was exported by the end of January, the Kenilworth, England-based HGCA said.

“What we’ve seen is exports have been strong,” Charlotte Garbutt, the author of the report, said by phone today. “Much of that 2.62 million tons will be exported and the remainder could be carried over as stocks.”

In total, about 17.7 million tons of wheat is expected to be available this year and 13.7 million tons may be consumed domestically, the HGCA said.

About 6.45 million tons may be used for animal feed, down 0.5 percent from January’s estimate, HGCA data show. Human and industrial consumption was forecast 0.7 percent lower at 6.85 million tons, as less may be used to make bioethanol, according to the report.

Exports last year totaled 2.66 million tons. The HGCA would not give an export forecast for the 2011-12 marketing year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony C. Dreibus in London at tdreibus@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net.

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