2006 flour output up 1.2% to almost 400 million cwts

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WASHINGTON — Production of wheat flour in 2006 was revised upward by 2.5 million cwts from preliminary numbers in the "Flour Milling Products: 2006 Summary" issued today by the Census Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Census in February, in issuing its fourth-quarter estimates, had put 2006 production at 397,360,000 cwts. Now 399,860,000 cwts, flour production in 2006 was 4,887,000 cwts, or 1.2%, more than the 394,973,000 cwts in 2005. It was the largest output in five years since 2001 when the total was 404,521,000, Output in 2006, the fifth largest on record, was down 21,410,000 cwts, or 5.1%, from the record 421,270,000 in 2000. The 24-hour capacity of U.S. mills in the last 2006 quarter was 1,506,016 cwts, up slightly from 1,492,456 a year earlier. Running time in 2006 averaged 87.1% of six-day capacity, up from 86.2% in 2005. Durum semolina production also was raised, by 614,000 cwts, to 31,948,000, up 3.6% from 30,838,000 in 2005. It was the largest since 32,411,000 in 2002. With the modest flour production adjustment, per capita consumption of flour in 2006 remained at 134 lbs, unchanged from 2005 and 2004 and still well beneath the modern high of 147 lbs in 1997. The North American Millers’ Association provides funding to the Census Bureau in support of the compilation of these statistics.

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