WASHINGTON — Flour production in January-March 2022 totaled 106,471,000 cwts, gaining 2,836,000 cwts, or 2.7%, from 103,635,000 cwts in the first quarter of 2021, according to data issued May 1 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the US Department of Agriculture. While up from 2021, production was down 1,706,000 cwts, or 1.6%, from the quarterly record 108,177,000 cwts in January-March 2020.

 Flour production was down 1,589,000 cwts, or 1.5%, from 108,060,000 in October-December 2021.

At 106,471,000 cwts, first-quarter flour production was the second largest for the quarter on record, topped only by the extraordinary COVID-19-fueled aggregate in 2020. The next highest was 105,612,000 cwts in January-March 2018.

The 24-hour flour production capacity totaled 1,600,330 cwts, up 17,668 cwts from a revised 1,582,662 cwts a year earlier. January-March 2021 daily capacity was revised downward by 3,100 cwts.

Similar downward revisions took place in the second, third and fourth quarters.  

Grind in the quarter was 87.5% of six-day capacity, down from 88.7% in the fourth quarter of 2021 and 86.2% in the first quarter. 

Semolina production in the first quarter was 7,616,000 cwts, down 470,000 cwts, or 5.8%, from 8,086,000 in the first quarter of 2021. It was down 1% from 7,542,000 cwts in the fourth quarter.

Rye flour production in January-March totaled 200,000 cwts compared with 207,000 in the fourth quarter and 209,000 a year back.