Companies in this industry mill flour and rice; malt grains (primarily barley); and mix prepared flour mixes and dough. Major companies include Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Cargill, ConAgra, General Mills, and Riceland Foods (all based in the US), as well as China Agri-Industries (China), GrainCorp (Australia), Nisshin Seifun Group (Japan), REI Agro (India), and Wilmar International (Singapore).
Demand for grain milling services is driven by global production of wheat, rice, and other cereal crops. Worldwide wheat production totals more than 700 million metric tons per year, and annual rice production is about 500 million metric tons, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Demand for milled grains is expected to grow in developing countries, where populations are rising rapidly.
The US grain milling industry includes about 230 companies with combined annual revenue of about $20 billion.
Wet corn milling, soybean processing, and vegetable oil refining are covered in the Edible Oils Manufacturing profile. Breakfast Cereal Manufacturing is also a separate industry profile.
Demand is driven by population growth and consumer patterns in bread, whole grains, and rice consumption. The profitability of individual companies depends on managing grain prices and inventory effectively, and minimizing the risk of rodents, insects, and molds. Large companies have advantages in advanced milling technology and a diversified product line. Small operations can compete effectively by specializing in organic, non-genetically modified, or heirloom grains. The US industry is highly concentrated: the top 50...