WASHINGTON — Flour production in January-March 2018 was 105,612,000 cwts, up 907,000 cwts, 0.9%, from 104,705,000 in the first quarter of 2017, according to data issued May 1 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Flour production for the first quarter of 105,612,000 cwts was a record high, eclipsing the previous record set in 2017. First-quarter production was 103,909,000 cwts in 2016 and 103,116,000 cwts in 2015.
Daily 24-hour flour milling production capacity in the first quarter was estimated by the U.S.D.A. at 1,641,631 cwts, up 22,030 cwts, or 1.4%, from 1,619,601 cwts in the fourth quarter of 2017 (as well as the estimate for the first quarter of 2017).
Mills during the third quarter of 2018 operated at 83.6% of daily milling capacity, down from 88.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 85.1% in the first quarter of 2017. The operating rate was slightly better than 83.5% in January-March 2016.
Semolina production in the first quarter was 8,156,000 cwts, up 190,000 cwts, or 2.4%, from 7,966,000 cwts in the first quarter of 2017.