WASHINGTON — Production of whole wheat flour in the second quarter of 2018 was 5,386,000 cwts, a figure very near the 5,350,000 cwts milled in the second quarter of 2017, according to data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
At 5,386,000 cwts, production was up 0.7% from the same period last year and compared with 5,186,000 cwts in April-June 2016 and 5,513,000 cwts in 2015.
Whole wheat flour accounted for 5.1% of all U.S. flour production in the second quarter, the same percentage as a year earlier.
In the first six months of 2018, whole wheat flour production was 11,097,000 cwts, down 53,000 cwts from 11,150,000 cwts in the first half of 2017 and 10,701,000 cwts in the first half of 2016.
Whole wheat flour production has fluctuated from one quarter to the next but overall longer-term trends appear fairly flat, smoothing out short-term swings. At the end of the second quarter, the trailing 12-month production figure for whole wheat flour was 22,466,000 cwts, versus 22,430,000 cwts at the end of the first quarter and 22,519,000 cwts in 2017. The 12-month trailing figure has been between 22 million and 23 million cwts each of the last eight quarters.
Production of whole wheat semolina in the second quarter was 130,000 cwts, up 5,000 cwts, or 4%, from 125,000 cwts in the second quarter last year. Whole wheat semolina accounted for 1.7% of all semolina production, versus 1.6% in the second quarter of 2017.
Year-to-date whole wheat semolina production was 309,000 cwts, up 6% from 291,000 cwts in the second quarter of 2017.
Excluding semolina, production of whole wheat flour in the second quarter was 5,256,000 cwts, up 0.6% from 5,225,000 cwts in the second quarter last year. Whole wheat accounted for 5.4% of all flour excluding semolina, the same percentage as a year earlier.