WASHINGTON, DC, US – July-September US whole wheat flour production was 4,612,000 cwts, down 18,000 cwts, or 0.4%, from the third quarter last year, according to data issued Nov. 1 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the US Department of Agriculture.

While slightly below last year’s figure, production during the period was well below whole wheat outturn in earlier third quarters, including 4,974,000 cwts in 2021, 4,908,000 cwts in 2020, 5,513,000 cwts in 2019 and 5,715,000 cwts in 2018.

On a more positive note, the 18,000-cwt decrease was the smallest year-over-year decrease in five quarters. Over this period, whole wheat flour production was trending downward by an average of 403,000 cwts from the previous year. Additionally, 4,612,000 cwts was the largest whole wheat aggregate for the year, topping 4,289,000 cwts in the second quarter and 4,503,000 in the first.

Third-quarter whole wheat flour production equated to 4.3% of total US flour production.

In the first three quarters of 2023, whole wheat flour production was 13,404,000 cwts, down 1,012,000 cwts, or 7%, from 14,416,000 cwts in the first nine months last year. Year-to-date whole wheat flour production accounted for 4.3% of total US flour production for the period.

Production of whole wheat semolina in the third quarter was 111,000 cwts, down 12,000 cwts, or 10%, from 123,000 cwts in the third quarter last year. Whole wheat semolina represented 1.5% of total semolina production during the quarter.

To date in 2023, whole wheat semolina production was 299,000 cwts, down 1% from a year earlier.

Production of whole wheat flour excluding semolina was 4,501,000 cwts, down 6,000 cwts, or 0.1%, from 4,507,000 cwts the year before. Production was up 7% from the second quarter. Whole wheat flour excluding semolina accounted for 4.5% of total flour ex-semolina production.

Year to date, whole wheat flour production excluding semolina totaled 13,105,000 cwts, down 7% from 14,114,000 cwts in the first nine months of 2022.