U.S. flour exports up 19% in 2010

by Josh Sosland
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WASHINGTON — Exports of flour from the United States in 2010 increased 19% over the prior year, marking the second year of gains following exports falling to the smallest total in recent history. According to the Foreign Trade Division of the Bureau of the Census, U.S. flour exports in 2010 totaled 7,023,000 cwts, against 5,887,000 in 2009 and 4,918,000 in 2008.

The modern low in U.S. flour exporting came in 2006 with shipments of 3,418,000 cwts. The recent peak in exporting was 23,751,000 cwts shipped overseas in 1994. Shipments in 2010 were the largest since 7,143,000 cwts in 2007.

As had been the case for the past several years, Canada and Mexico were among the ranking destinations for U.S. flour exports. In 2010, shipments to Canada totaled 1,622,000 cwts, accounting for 23% of the national total. The volume moving north of the U.S. border was almost identical with 1,676,000 cwts in 2009.

Exports of flour to Mexico in 2010 soared 45%, reaching a total of 1,312,000 cwts, compared with 902,000 in 2009. In 2008, shipments to Mexico were 695,000 cwts, and Canada accounted for 2,355,000.

The leading destination for U.S. flour exports in 2010 was Pakistan, with 1,685,000 cwts shipped to that country, compared with 641,000 in 2009. These were the first years in which Pakistan even appeared as a destination for U.S. flour shipments. It is likely that a large part of the U.S. flour headed for Pakistan is meant for final distribution in Afghanistan.

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