Commodity reports: DEFRA

DEFRA: We’ll see a gradual switch back to UK wheat

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

The tonnage of home grown wheat that was milled this year was up 25% on the previous year
The tonnage of home grown wheat that was milled this year was up 25% on the previous year

Related tags: Wheat

UK wheat production had a strong year that should spark a gradual shift back to local sourcing, says the Department for Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as it published its latest cereal usage statistics.

The total amount of wheat milled in the UK was 606,000 tonnes – up 13% on the previous year – 519,000 of which was home grown, according to DEFRA’s October 2014 cereal usage statistics.

The amount of home grown wheat milled was up 25% on the previous year and milling of imported wheat was down 28% to 87,000 tonnes.

Speaking to BakeryandSnacks.com, a spokesperson for DEFRA said it was a strong year for UK wheat.

“UK wheat production was 16.6m tonnes as opposed to only 11.9m last year. Last year was a small harvest but it was good quality… But this year we’ve got the quantity and the quality,”​ he said.

The year before in 2012/2013 there was a slightly larger harvest of 13.3m but the bad weather caused quality problems that year.

“There will probably be a gradual switch back to UK-sourced milling wheat, certainly in the short-term you’d expect to see a slow trend back,”​ he said.

Elsewhere in Europe, concerns over quality remained.

Oats to remain steady

DEFRA’s quarterly statistics indicated that oat usage was down 2%, although the spokesperson said the annual figures would be more reflective of market movements.

“Certainly in the last few years, the trend has been for the oat market to be quite strong because there’s been a lot of publicity in the health effects of oats… What we’re thinking is that annual data will be fairly similar to last year,”​ he said.

Last year, 508,000 tonnes of oats were milled.

The full publication of DEFRA statistics can be found HERE​.

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