Global wheat food use remains flat

by Morton Sosland
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bread and wheat
Per capita consumption holds steady.
Photo by Adobe Stock.
 
LONDON, ENGLAND — Global per capita consumption of wheat as food has held remarkably stable in the past dozen or so year, according to compilations provided by the International Grains Council.

For the entire world, per capita consumption of wheat as food in the crop year starting in 2017 was forecast at 66.9 kilograms, or 147.5 pounds. Multiplying by 72% equals 106 pounds in terms of wheat flour. That number has been the same for practically the past 12 years, a period during which per capita flour use in the United States fell from 136 in 2005 to 133 pounds in the most recent year.

The steadiness in per capita usage estimated by dividing estimated consumption of wheat for food by global population count sharply contrasts with the per capita declines that have occurred in the same period in developed nations, primarily the United States and western member nations of the European Union.

In the United States, total consumption of wheat flour in the year has held almost the same for some years in a row even though population has increased. A similar experience has been observed in Western Europe, where slow growth in population has seen a slight downtrend in flour production.

At the same time the trend of per capita consumption was steady to falling in developed nations, growth occurred at a rapid rate in emerging nations, especially in central Europe, Far East Asia, Africa and South America.
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