Rally in U.S. flour exports

by Josh Sosland
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WASHINGTON — Exports of wheat flour from the United States in May climbed to the largest total for a month in more than five years. According to data issued by the Foreign Trade Division of the Census Bureau, U.S. flour exports for May totaled 1,088,000 cwts, which was the largest outgo for a single month since 1,115,000 cwts were shipped in February 2002. Primarily accounting for the surge in May shipments were clearances of 400,000 cwts to Somalia and 242,000 to Afghanistan. For the first five months of the 2007 calendar year, U.S. flour exports amounted to 2,736,000 cwts, up 63% from the same period of 2006. Based on the recent pickup in shipments, it seemed likely that U.S. flour exports in 2007 will exceed the final 2006 outgo of 3,418,000 cwts. An increase would bring an end to seven consecutive years of reductions in flour exports from the recent peak of 17,752,000 cwts in 1999.

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