UK Flour Millers Release Latest Economic Report

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salwheatThe most recent UK Flour Millers economic briefing was released in September 2021, and there were some interesting facts revealed. By 7th September 2021, 90% of UK wheat crops had been harvested, showing that this year saw an increase in the size of the yield. This yield is larger than in the previous five years, although some worry that low specific weights and higher moisture contents may have caused overestimation of the figures.

Although the production figure of 14.3Mt is 4% above the 5-year average, carry over stock into the 2021/22 season is small. This is at 1.2Mt (44% lower than the 5-year average), and is due to the poor wheat crop in 2020. The results of this will likely be a year of tight supply and demand for UK wheat. Prices of UK wheat are expected to continue to rise in 2021/22. Millers are affected by crop quality, which adds another daunting dimension to availability. Initial reports on quality, point to lower protein and lower specific weight for breadmaking wheat, the market has also see a rise in the price of milling wheat. Another factor is that lower specific weights reduce flour extraction rates, meaning more wheat is needed to produce the same amount of flour.

Globally, prices are kept high because of weather [such as severe drought in Canada] and an increased demand for grains. These situations have an impact on the UK milling market, where imported wheats are concerned. The effects of Labour shortages within UK haulage has affected many sectors, not least milling. Throw in higher freight costs and the spiralling price of electricity, and it doesn’t give the most optimistic picture.


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