WASHINGTON — Whole wheat flour production by U.S. mills in July-September 2017 totaled 5,632,000 cwts, down 7% from 6,053,000 cwts a year earlier. The whole wheat production data were included in the Nov. 1 Flour Milling Products report issued by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
At 5,632,000 cwts, third-quarter production was down 11% from 6,326,000 cwts in the same period in 2015. The third quarter of 2015 was the high-water mark for any quarter since the U.S.D.A. began tracking flour (and whole wheat flour) production data in 2014. Third-quarter 2017 production was slightly up from 5,350,000 cwts in the second quarter.
Year-to-date whole wheat flour production in the first nine months of 2017 totaled 16,782,000 cwts, up less than 1% from 16,754,000 cwts in January-September 2016 but down considerably from 17,961,000 cwts in the first nine months of 2015.
Whole wheat flour production in July-September accounted for 5.2% of total U.S. flour production, down from 5.6% in the same quarter in 2016 and 5.9% in the third quarter of 2015. The whole wheat market share in the second quarter of 2017 was 5.1%.
Whole wheat semolina production in July-September totaled 194,000 cwts, up 7% from 181,000 cwts in the same period the year before. Production was up 55% from a revised estimate of 125,000 cwts in the second quarter. At 125,000 cwts, the second-quarter whole wheat semolina figure was revised up 17,000 cwts from the initial estimate.Excluding semolina, whole wheat flour production in the third quarter was 5,438,000 cwts, down 7% from 5,872,000 in the third quarter the year before. Ex-semolina whole wheat flour production had a 5.4% share of all flour production in the third quarter, down from 5.9% during the third quarter of 2016.