Flour production gain capped by robust fourth quarter

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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WASHINGTON — In what could be described as a "breakout year" for grain-based foods, U.S. flour production in 2007 increased to 417,574,000 cwts, up 17,714,000, or 4.4%, from 399,860,000 in 2006, according to preliminary estimates issued Feb. 8 by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of the Census. The increase was the largest for a single year since a gain of 20,680,000 cwts in 1983. Output in 2007 was the largest since the record 421,270,000 cwts in 2000 and was the fourth largest ever. Rate of grind in 2007 averaged 88.9% of six-day capacity, up from 87.1% in the prior year. Fourth-quarter flour output totaled 106,670,000 cwts, up 5.1% from 101,450,000 cwts in the fourth quarter of 2006. The 24-hour capacity at yearend (October-December, 2007) was 1,532,000 cwts, up 26,000 from 1,506,000 a year earlier. Semolina production in 2007 aggregated 32,576,000 cwts, a six-year high and up 2% from 31,948,000 in 2006. The flour data indicated that for the first time since 2000, per capita consumption in 2007 was higher than the year before and that the increase was at least 2 lbs.

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