The modest flour production increase for 2010 represents a “rally” from the situation earlier the year. As recently as the third quarter, year-to-date flour production figures provided by the Census Bureau were down 0.1% from the first nine months of 2009.
Production in the past four years has fluctuated within a fairly narrow range between 418,836,000 in 2008 and 414,658,000 in 2009. The year-to-year gain in 2010 was largely fueled by a sizable increase in semolina output and a moderate gain in flour-ex-semolina. The third largest in recent years (since 2000), semolina output in 2010 totaled 32,728,000 cwts, up 3.7% from 31,568,000 in 2009. Flour-ex-semolina came to 383,472,000, up 0.1% from 383,090,000 in 2009. It also was the fourth largest for this category.
Yearend milling daily capacity set a record of 1,545,000 cwts, up 11,000 from a year back. Rate of mill grind in 2010 averaged 88% of six-day capacity, practically the same as 88.1% a year earlier. Extraction was a near record 77.1%, against 77.2% a year back. Regional output changes featured an appreciable reduction in the South, more than offset by sizable gains in the spring wheat states and modest increases elsewhere.