Cereal usage data have recently been published by Defra completing the series for the 2004/05 July/June crop year. Total wheat usage by millers is unchanged from 2003/04. However, there has been a shift from home-grown wheat to imported wheat, reflecting the variable UK wheat crop quality last season. Cereal usage by Brewers, Maltsters and Distillers is estimated over 0.1Mt lower, with the majority of the decline due to a fall in barley usage.
UK Flour Millers Usage
Wheat used by millers totalled 5.57Mt in 04/05, a small increase of 5,000t on 03/04. Both 04/05 and 03/04 wheat usage is lower than usage data for the 01/02 and 02/03 seasons (Table 1) according to Defra.
Home-grown wheat used by millers fell 3% to 4.6Mt, a drop of nearly 0.14Mt on 03/04 and the lowest since 01/02. Lower home-grown wheat usage was offset by a rise in imported wheat for milling, up 0.14Mt on 03/04, taking total imported wheat usage by millers to 0.94Mt. The decline in home-grown usage is likely to be in response to the wet 2004 harvest, impacting on the regional availability of quality wheat for milling. Total flour produced fell by 1% to 4.38Mt, a drop of 0.032Mt on 03/04.
Cereal Usage by Brewers, Maltsters and Distillers
Barley is the main cereal used by brewers, maltsters and distillers (BMD) for the production of alcoholic beverages. In 04/05 the total amount of barley used in the sector dropped 8%, a decline of 0.15Mt to 1.77Mt. This compares to barley usage of over 1.9Mt in the previous three seasons (Table 2). Barley used for the production of malt accounted for around 96% of total barley usage by BMD in 04/05.
Total wheat usage by BMD increased by 5% to 0.56Mt, and although higher than the usage in 03/04, is still lower than the wheat usage estimates in 01/02 and 02/03 according to Defra.