WASHINGTON — Whole wheat flour production in July-September 2018 totaled 5,715,000 cwts, up 83,000 cwts, or 1.5%, from the third quarter of 2017, according to data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Third-quarter whole wheat flour production was up 6% from 5,386,000 cwts in the second quarter of 2018.
For the first three quarters of 2018, whole wheat flour production was 16,812,000, up 30,000 cwts, or less than 1%, from 16,782,000 cwts in January-September 2017.
While up from the previous quarter and year-ago figure, whole wheat production remained in a narrow range suggesting a continued lack of growth. The trailing four-quarter average for whole wheat flour has held between 22,908,000 cwts and 22,164,000 cwts for eight straight quarters.
Whole wheat share of total flour production was 5.3%, up slightly from 5.2% a year earlier. The share of the flour market accounted for by whole wheat flour has been drifting lower. It was as high as 5.9% in 2015.
Whole wheat semolina production remained modest in the third quarter — 135,000 cwts. That was down 59,000 cwts, or 30%, from 194,000 cwts in July-September last year and was modestly higher than 130,000 cwts in the second quarter of this year.