WASHINGTON, DC, US – After an unusually strong second quarter, US flour production in July-September 2022 climbed to a new record high.
Third-quarter flour production was 109.859 million cwts, up 3.698 million cwts, or 3.5%, from 106.161 million cwts a year earlier, according to data issued Nov. 1 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the US Department of Agriculture.
The third-quarter total was the largest ever for July-September, breaking a record that had stood for 10 years — 108.754 million cwts in the third quarter of 2012. Production in July-September also was up 2.452 million cwts from second-quarter flour production of 107.407 million cwts. The quarterly total of 109.895 million cwts was the second largest total for any quarter, exceeded only by 110.332 million cwts in October-December 2010.
Year to date, flour production was 323.737 million cwts, also a record. January-September production was up 10.621 million cwts, or 3.4%, from 313.116 million cwts in the same period of 2021. The previous record for flour production in the first three quarters of the year 319.153 million cwts set in 2018. The 2022 figure beat the previous record by 4.584 million cwts.
Daily 24-hour flour milling capacity in July-September was 1,595,830 cwts, up 13,168 cwts, or 0.8%, from 1,582,662 cwts in the third quarter last year. Capacity was up 3,500 cwts from 1,592,330 cwts in the second quarter.
Capacity utilization in the third quarter was 89.4%, up from 87.1% a year earlier and 87.6% in the second quarter. The industry’s operating rate was higher than any quarter since October-December 2013, at 92.3%.