While the current quarter and all the 2015 data were compiled by NASS, for 2014 only the third and fourth quarters came from NASS. January-June data originated from NAMA’s panel of the largest U.S. milling companies and subsequently interpolation by World Grain’s sister publication, Milling & Baking News, to make the data comparable with earlier statistics compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The second largest total for January-March was in 2014 at 103.824 million cwts, followed by 2012 at 103.462 million. Output in 2013 was fifth at 102.932 million. The largest first-quarter aggregate covered by the Census data was in 2010 ranking sixth at 102.532 million.
U.S. 24-hour mill capacity in January-March reached a record total of 1.618 million cwts, unchanged from the fourth quarter and up 8,000 from a year ago. Although the rounded total was unchanged from October-December the actual total was slightly off.
Flour mill operating rate in January-March averaged at 83.4% of six-day capacity, the lowest for a quarter since 78.7% in April-June 2001. It was down from 87.3% in the fourth quarter and 84.3% a year ago.
Wheat grind in January-March totaled 224.212 million bushels, down 0.5% from 225.289 million bushels a year back. It also was down 4.9% from 235.884 million bushels in the fourth quarter.
Millfeed output in the first quarter aggregated 1.595 million tonnes, down 0.3% from 1.601 million tonnes a year ago. It fell 5.2% from 1.682 million in the fourth quarter.
Semolina output in January-March totaled 7.709 million cwts, against 8,189,000 in the fourth and 7.683 million a year ago.
Rye flour output totaled 266,000 cwts in the first quarter, against 261,000 in October-December and 256,000 a year ago.