Cheese Inventories Reach Historical High
The USDA released its February version of the Cold Storage Report on March 22. This report analyses the total amount of butter and cheese inventory on a month by month basis.
As we have seen in previous months, the ever expanding dairy herd and milk production in the U.S. has continued to build product upon the massive stocks that we already had. Natural cheese stocks stored in refrigerated warehouses grew 3% from January, and 6% from February 2016. In total, cheese stocks ended February with 1.26 billion pounds in U.S. warehouses. Never before have cheese inventories been this large since reporting began in August of 1917.
Butter stocks also grew in the February cold storage report. Compared to January, butter in storage grew 28%, and was up 20% from February 2016. Total inventory of butter came in at 282.5 million pounds, an additional 61.1 million pounds in the month of February. The 282.5 million pounds of butter stocks represents a record high for the month of February, while the 61.1 million pound build from January to February outpaces the five year average by 27.5 million pounds.