U.S. Cold Storage Update – May ’14
Butter – YOY Stocks Continue Decline According to USDA, April ’14 U.S. butter stocks continue to lag previous years, with April ’14 stocks of 174.1 million pounds coming in 43.8% below last year’s levels and 24.4% lower than the five year average April butter stocks. The April ’14 YOY decline in butter stocks was the largest in nearly three and a half years on a percentage basis. Butter stocks were 5.9 million pounds, or 3.3%, below March ’14 stocks in a month where stocks historically continue their seasonal build. Over the previous ten years, butter stocks have increased an average of 27.7 million pounds from March – April. 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 March ’14 exports reaching a new high. Cheese – YOY Stock Declines Continue on Increasing Exports April ’14 U.S. cheese stocks of 1.04 billion pounds increased 1.8% over last month, but continue to decline on a YOY basis. April ’14 cheese stocks declined 7.6% YOY, only slightly better than the March ’14 7.9% YOY decline. March – April ’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 appears to have started to turn around in key Midwestern cheese producing states, with production declines reaching six month lows, however cheese exports continue to rise. 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. March ’14 U.S. cheese exports were 36.9% greater than the previous year.