Quarterly flour production slightly higher once again

by Neil Sosland
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Flour production
Flour production by U.S. mills in the second quarter of 2017 totaled 104,403,000 cwts, up 0.6% from a year ago.

WASHINGTON — Flour production by U.S. mills in the second quarter of 2017 totaled 104,403,000 cwts, up 0.6% from 103,823,000 a year ago, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Production was down 1.4% from the record second quarter of 105,923,000 cwts in 2014. It also was 0.3% below 104,705,000 cwts in the first quarter of this year. NASS data are now available for 12 consecutive quarters, or since July-September 2014, when NASS took over from the North American Millers’ Association.

It was the second quarter in a row with a small gain relative to the year-ago quarter. January-June flour output in 2017 aggregated 209,108,000 cwts, an increase of 0.7% from 207,732,000 cwts in the first half of 2016. It was 0.3% down from the first-half high of 209,748,000 cwts in 2014.

U.S. 24-hour milling capacity in April-June was 1,620,000 cwts, unchanged from the first but up from 1,615,000 a year back.

Flour mill operating rate in April-June was 83.7% of six-day week capacity, down from 85.1% in the first quarter but up from 83.5% in April-June 2016.

Wheat grind in the second quarter totaled 224,160,000 bus, up 0.1% from 223,964,000 in the first and down 0.1% from 224,382,000 a year ago.

Millfeed output in April-June totaled 1,568,119 tons, down 1.1% from 1,586,308 tons in the first and down 2.7% from 1,613,972 a year ago.

Durum semolina production in April-June totaled 7,527,000 cwts, down 5.5% from 7,966,000 in the first quarter but up 2.6% from 7,338,000 a year ago.

Rye flour production in the second quarter totaled 215,000 cwts, against 222,000 in the first and 303,000 a year earlier.

While the two 2017 quarters and all the 2015 and 2016 data were compiled by NASS, for 2014 only the third and fourth quarters came from NASS. January-June data originated from NAMA’s panel of the largest U.S. milling companies and subsequent interpolation by Milling & Baking News to make the data comparable with earlier statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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