RANGOON, BURMA — While Burma saw an increase in instant noodle consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic, other wheat-containing products consumption rates dipped with the temporary closures of bakeries, restaurants, and coffee shops, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak wheat consumption was on the rise and production of the commodity remained flat along with increasing imports.

The country produces about 100,000 tonnes of wheat and imports around 600,000 tonnes of wheat grain to meet local demand. The USDA forecasts wheat consumption to decrease in 2021 due to economic issues, cash shortages post-military coup and continued COVID-19 challenges.

Burma mills wheat grain into flour to make wheat-based foods for human consumption and 45% of total wheat flour is used for making noodles, 35% for the bakery sector and 20% for general purposes such as wheat-derived breakfast foods.