WASHINGTON — U.S. flour production in the first three quarters of 2014 as reported by the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) and interpolated by Milling & Baking News set a new record, up 0.9% from a year ago. The change was calculated based on a NAMA estimate of flour output for January-September at 301,653,000 cwts by the mills it queries, compared with 298,820,000 in the first nine months of 2013.
In an attempt to approximate the total U.S. output (including mills not included in the NAMA survey), Milling & Baking News divided the NAMA numbers by .951, unchanged from 2013 but down from .954 in 2012 and the last half of 2011 when NAMA replaced the Census Bureau. This reflects estimates on the capacity of the NAMA panel against overall U.S. levels as published in the Grain & Milling Annual.
The resulting figures are a record 317,196,000 cwts in January-September 2014, up 0.9% from 314,218,000 in the first nine months of 2013, the prior high. Production also was up 1% from 314,152,000 cwts in the first three quarters of 2012, the third highest.
Output in the third quarter of the current year was 107,448,000, up 0.8% over a year back when output was 106,598,000. It was the largest for the specific quarter since 2012 when it was 108,754,000. The record, 109,017,000, was set in 2007. July-September 2014 also was up 1.4% over 105,293,000 in April-June.
Capacity data published by NAMA for the second quarter have been revised and released to Milling & Baking News together with the third-quarter numbers.U.S. 24-hour interpolated capacity in the third quarter is 1,578,000 cwts, unchanged from the second and up 5,000 from a year ago. Mill running time in July-September (based on the interpolated data) was 88.4% of six-day capacity, up from 87.2% in April-June but down from 89.2% a year ago.