U.S. durum production increasing while use in food remains stable
U.S. production of durum—the primary class of wheat used to produce pasta—is expected to increase in the 2022/23 marketing year after last year’s drought reduced production to its lowest in 60 years. Production in 2022/23 is forecast at 64 million bushels, up 70 percent from the previous marketing year (2021/22), but below the average of the previous five years (2016/17–2020/21). Durum used for food in the 2022/23 marketing year is estimated at 80 million bushels, close to the historical average and slightly above 2021/22. Food use of durum was elevated in marketing years 2019/20 and 2020/21, fueled by surging consumer demand during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, when shoppers stocked up on pasta while in quarantine. While the surge in demand has since subsided, consumer prices for wheat-based products including pasta are up substantially in 2022. This year’s larger durum crop, along with larger Canadian production, has eased some supply pressure; however, high commodity prices in general and elevated input, labor, and energy costs have each contributed to higher prices for the manufactured products of wheat, including pasta. The United States imports and exports durum every year, with imports typically larger. Net imports rise in years when production is lower. This chart is drawn from the USDA, Economic Research Service Wheat Outlook, October 2022.
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