Per capita flour consumption up 3 lbs

by Josh Sosland
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WASHINGTON — In data just issued by the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, per capita consumption of flour in 2007 was estimated at 137.5 lbs, up 3 lbs from 2006 and the highest figure since 141 lbs in 2001. An increase from 2006 had been widely expected since late February when the Census Bureau issued its preliminary estimate of 2007 wheat flour production at 418 million cwts, up from 400 million bus in 2006. The per capita consumption figure also takes into account imports, which were flat in 2007 and exports, which were up 4.3 million cwts. At 137.5 lbs, per capita consumption compares with 134.5 lbs in 2006, 134.2 lbs in 2005, 134.5 lbs in 2003 and 136.7 lbs in 2002. The recent peak for per capita consumption was 146.4 lbs in 1996, barely eclipsing the 146.3 in 2000. Domestic flour disappearance in 2007 increased to a new record of 415,462,000 cwts, up 3.3% from 402,321,000 cwts in 2006. The previous peak was 402,449,000 in 2001. The 2007 flour production data are subject to revision in May. At that time, the Bureau also is expected to revise (perhaps significantly) its data for 2006.

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