GB Stocks and Utilisation - End-March 2012
We are aware that the end of March potato stock estimates published 9 May, 2012 were lower than industry expectations, and have generated a number of industry comments and contact with PCL. We would like to clarify the possible reasons for this.
The stocks estimates were calculated using a new method this season to improve the statistical accuracy of figures. These are based on a survey of farmers, who recorded stocks they own and hold on farm, and from the monthly Merchant Return, which records stocks owned by merchants.
We believe that the most likely reason for the overall stocks figure being lower than expected is that the new methodology requires further refinement, and is not yet adequately identifying all stocks held by the industry, by farmers, merchants and end users. AHDB/PCL are working to refine our approach to measure stocks to improve the statistical robustness of the published figures. While the change in methodology is being validated, comparisons with some prior year figures may not be relevant.