Milling & Baking News - May 8, 2018 - 35
averaged 83.6% of six-day capacity, off
from 85.1% a year ago. Capacity utilization was the lowest since 83.5% in
each of the first two quarters of 2016.
Otherwise, quarterly grind has not
been lower since 2001.
Working days in the first quarter totaled 77, up from 76 in both the fourth
and a year back (and factoring in the
lower rate of daily grind).
Wheat grind in January-March totaled 227,147,000 bus, up 1.4% from
223,964,000 a year back. It was down
3.4% from 235,086,000 bus in the fourth
quarter. The previous peak wheat
grind for this quarter was in 2012 at
226,890,000. The all-time high was
247,738,000 in the fourth of that year.
Millfeed output in the first quarter
aggregated 1,606,569 tons, a gain of 1.3%
from 1,586,308 a year ago. It was down
2.1% from 1,641,094 tons in the fourth
quarter. The record for January-March
was 2001 at 1,806,152 tons. The top peak
was 1,947,407 in October-December 2000.
The extraction rate in JanuaryMarch was 77.5%, up from 77.2% in
the fourth quarter but off from 77.9%
a year ago. Extraction was the highest
since the start of NASS statistics.
Quarterly U.S. wheat flour production
Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S.D.A.
Durum semolina production in the
first 2018 quarter aggregated 8,156,000
cwts, up 2.4% from 7,966,000 in JanuaryMarch 2017. It was down 2.8% from
8,389,000 in the fourth quarter. Semolina data between Census and NASS
were only approximate. The most recent Census first-quarter output was in
2011 at 8,593,000 cwts. NASS also shows
durum grind in January-March 2018 at
17,114,000 bus, up 2% from 16,777,000
a year ago. It was down 1.8% from
17,421,000 in the fourth quarter.
In line with preliminary numbers
issued three months back, NASS
shows 2017 durum semolina output at 31,799,000 cwts, up 1.5% from
31,338,000 in 2016. Durum grind aggregated 66,374,000 bus in 2017, against
66,745,000. This was well below earlier
Census highs over 32 million.
Flour output ex-semolina in January-March 2017 aggregated 97,456,000
cwts, up 0.7% from 96,739,000 in the
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Milling & Baking News
May 8, 2018 / 35