U.S. Cold Storage Update – Mar ‘14
Butter – YOY Stocks Continue Decline According to USDA, February ’14 U.S. butter stocks continue to lag previous years, with February ’14 stocks of 163.7 million pounds coming in 31.3% below last year’s levels and 17.4% lower than the five year average February butter stocks. The February ’14 YOY decline was the largest in over three years on an absolute basis and trailed only last month’s 34.0% decline as the largest decline on a percentage basis over the same time period. Butter stocks were up 26.9 million pounds, or 19.7%, over January ’14 stocks as they continue their seasonal climb throughout the first half of the year. The stock build from January – February was 9.9% lower than the five year average January – February increase. 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 January ’14 exports near all-time highs. Cheese – YOY Stocks Decline on Increasing Exports February ’14 U.S. cheese stocks of 1.01 billion pounds continue to remain flat vs. prior months, but declined on a YOY basis. February ’14 cheese stocks declined 5.5% YOY, which was the largest YOY decline in 16 months. U.S. cheese exports reached all-time highs in January ’14, which contributed to the YOY decline in stocks.