WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Third-quarter flour production in 2019 was 106,828,000 cwts, down 1,409,000, or 1.3%, from 108,237,000 a year ago, according to data issued Nov. 1 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Production during the quarter was 2.8% greater than 103,929,000 cwts in the second quarter. The record high for the third quarter was 109,017,000 cwts in 2007, and the largest flour production quarter ever was 110,332,000 in October-December 2013.

January-September flour production totaled 314,357,000 cwts, a three-year low and down 4,796,000 cwts, or 1.5%, from a record 319,153,000 a year ago.

NASS data are now available for 21 consecutive quarters, or since July-September 2014, when NASS took over from the North American Millers’ Association.

U.S. 24-hour capacity in July-September was a record 1,674,210 cwts, up from 1,646,760 in the second quarter and 1,642,731 a year back. The prior high was 1,647,831 in January-March of this year.

Flour mill operating rate in July-September was 82.9%, up from 82% in the second quarter but down from 86.7% a year ago.

Wheat grind in the third quarter was 231,775,000 bus, down 0.5% from 232,938,000 a year ago; it was up 3% over 225,356,000 bus in the second.

Millfeed output in July-September totaled 1,659,494 tons, up 1.9% from 1,628,236 a year back. Millfeed production rose 2.5% from 1,618,622 in April-June.

Semolina production in July-September totaled 7,501,000 cwts, down 4.8% from 7,877,000 in the third quarter of last year; it was down 1.6% from 7,622,000 in April-June. January-September semolina production totaled 23,028,000 cwts, down 2.6% from 23,651,000 a year earlier, which was the highest three-quarter number since the start of NASS data.                                                                                                                       

Rye flour production during the third quarter of 2018 was 218,000 cwts against 204,000 in the second and 211,000 a year ago.