Imports and Exports
About 80-85% of the wheat used by UK flour millers is home-grown, although the precise proportion depends on the quality of the UK harvest. The main sources of imported wheat within the European Union are Germany and France, whilst Canada and the US are the main sources for the rest of the world. Canadian wheat is generally imported for bread-making purposes, because it has excellent characteristics and gluten strength which work well in a blend with UK wheats. French wheat is generally used in the manufacture of French style products where softer flours are required. German wheat usage fluctuates according to the quality of the British crop.
The majority of flour produced in the UK is also used at home. Imports account for approximately 1% of UK flour sales, whilst about 2% of production is exported. Both import and export volumes tend to fluctuate along with currency appreciation or depreciation. The main export destination for UK millers is the Republic of Ireland (about 160,000 tonnes per year), whilst France (about 20,000 tonnes per year) is the country of origin for the biggest proportion of flour imports.
nabim members can download annual summaries of wheat imports by UK millers from the right-hand side of this page. For summaries dating before 2013, please contact Joe Brennan (JoeBrennan@nabim.org.uk) or search 'Wheat imports' in the Publications search engine.