WASHINGTON, DC, US — Flour production in January-March 2022 totaled 106.471 million cwts, gaining 2.836 million cwts, or 2.7%, from 103.635 million cwts in the first quarter of 2021, according to data issued May 1 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the US Department of Agriculture. While up from 2021, production was down 1.706 million cwts, or 1.6%, from the quarterly record 108.177 million cwts in January-March 2020.
Flour production was down 1.589 million cwts, or 1.5%, from 108.06 million in October-December 2021.
At 106.471 million cwts, first-quarter flour production was the second largest for the quarter on record, topped only by the extraordinary COVID-19-fueled aggregate in 2020. The next highest was 105.612 million cwts in January-March 2018.
The 24-hour flour production capacity totaled 1,600,330 cwts, up 17,668 cwts from a revised 1,582,662 cwts a year earlier. January-March 2021 daily capacity was revised downward by 3,100 cwts.
Similar downward revisions took place in the second, third and fourth quarters.
Grind in the quarter was 87.5% of six-day capacity, down from 88.7% in the fourth quarter of 2021 and 86.2% in the first quarter.
Semolina production in the first quarter was 7.616 million cwts, down 470,000 cwts, or 5.8%, from 8.086 million in the first quarter of 2021. It was down 1% from 7.542 million cwts in the fourth quarter.
Rye flour production in January-March totaled 200,000 cwts compared with 207,000 in the fourth quarter and 209,000 a year back.