WASHINGTON — Whole wheat flour production in April-June 2021 was 4,866,000 cwts, up 395,000 cwts, or 9%, from 4,471,000 cwts in the second quarter last year, according to data published Aug. 2 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the US Department of Agriculture.
The year-to-year increase for whole wheat production scored during the second quarter was a rare event for recent years, but at 4,866,000 cwts production remained below second quarter output for 2019 (5,271,000 cwts) or 2018 (5,386,000 cwts). Still, it was the first increase for whole wheat production in the last five quarters. Whole wheat flour production has decreased relative to the year-earlier figure in 8 of the last 11 quarters.
The second quarter total of 4,866,000 cwts was within a fraction of a percentage point of production of 4,860,000 cwts in the first quarter and 4,852,000 cwts in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Whole wheat flour production equated to 4.7% of total US flour production in the second quarter, the same as in the first quarter and compared with 4.4% in the second quarter of 2020. It was 5.1% in the second quarter of 2019.
Year-to-date whole wheat flour production was 9,726,000 cwts, down 635,000 cwts from 10,361,000 cwts in the first half of 2020.
Whole wheat semolina production in the second quarter was 147,000 cwts, down 17,000 cwts, or 10%, from 164,000 cwts in the second quarter of 2020. Production was up slightly from 143,000 cwts in the first quarter and the same as 147,000 cwts in the final quarter of 2020. Year to date, whole wheat semolina production was 290,000 cwts, down 13% from 335,0000 cwts in the first half of 2020.
Whole wheat flour ex-semolina in the second quarter was 4,719,000 cwts, up 412,000 cwts, or 10%, from 4,307,000 cwts in April-June 2020. Year to date, whole wheat flour production ex-semolina was 9,436,000 cwts, down 6% from 10,026,000 cwts in the first half of 2020.
In issuing the data Aug. 2, NASS revised first quarter 2021 production for whole wheat flour up 33,000 cwts from 4,827,000 cwts as initially estimated. Whole wheat flour ex-semolina also was raised 33,000 cwts, from the original estimate of 4,684,000 cwts.