U.S. Cold Storage Update – Apr ‘14
Butter – YOY Stocks Continue Decline According to USDA, March ’14 U.S. butter stocks continue to lag previous years, with March ’14 stocks of 178.3 million pounds coming in 30.1% below last year’s levels and 12.3% lower than the five year average March butter stocks. The March ’14 YOY decline was the largest in nearly three and a half years on an absolute basis. Butter stocks were up 15.2 million pounds, or 9.3%, over February ’14 stocks as they continue their seasonal climb throughout the first half of the year. The stock build from February – March was nearly 10.0 million pounds higher than the five year average February – March stock build. The current year monthly stock build was greater than the five year average stock build for the first time in 11 months. Most of the decline in YOY butter stocks can be attributed to an increase in exports, which accounted for 76% of the seasonal drawdown from May-December. U.S. butter exports have continued to remain strong, with February ’14 exports near all-time highs. Cheese – YOY Stock Declines Accelerate on Increasing Exports March ’14 U.S. cheese stocks of 1.01 billion pounds continue to remain flat vs. prior months, but declined on a YOY basis. March ’14 cheese stocks declined 8.6% YOY, which was the largest YOY decline in over 12 years. YOY U.S. cheese exports declines have accelerated throughout the past several months as milk production in key cheese producing states declined and U.S. cheese exports increased. U.S. cheese exports reached an all-time high in November ‘13, and have continued to reach new all-time highs each month thereafter on a daily average basis. February ’14 U.S. cheese exports were 44.5% greater than the previous year.