U.S. Cold Storage Update – Jun ’14
Butter – YOY Stocks Continue Decline According to USDA, May ’14 U.S. butter stocks continue to lag previous years, with May ’14 stocks of 192.5 million pounds coming in 40.2% below last year’s levels and 21.1% below the five year average May butter stocks. The May ’14 YOY decline in butter stocks was the second largest in three and a half years on a percentage basis, trailing only the April ’14 decline of 43.8%. Butter stocks were up 18.5 million pounds, or 10.6%, over April ’14 stocks as they continue their seasonal climb throughout the first half of the year. The stock build of 80.0 million pounds from December – May was less than half of the 168.9 million pound build of last year and 45.1 million pounds (36.1%) lower than the five year average December – May stock build. 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 April ’14 exports over double last year’s level. Cheese – YOY Stock Declines Continue on Increasing Exports May ’14 U.S. cheese stocks of 1.07 billion pounds increased 2.9% over last month, but continue to decline on a YOY basis. May ’14 cheese stocks declined 7.2% YOY, only slightly less than the March ’14 and April ’14 declines of 7.9% and 7.5%, respectively. March – May ’14 cheese stock declines were the largest YOY declines in over 12 years. YOY U.S. cheese stock declines have accelerated throughout the past several months as milk production in key cheese producing states declined and U.S. cheese exports increased. Milk production has started to turn around in key Midwestern cheese producing states, with production increasing on a YOY basis for the first time in over half a year, however cheese exports continue to remain at near all-time levels. April ’14 U.S. cheese exports were 32.1% greater than the previous year.