Dairy Skim – April 2023 US Cold Storage Report

Dairy Skim is a bite-size episode series where HighGround’s top analysts break down the latest dairy data release. Today, Betty Berning discusses the April 2023 US Cold Storage Report. You can view the snapshot report here. Subscribe so that you never miss an episode!

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[00:04] Betty: Hello everyone and welcome back to the Dairy Skim, HighGround Dairy’s bite sized podcast intended to give the dairy industry some flavor into recent reports or events that can impact global commodity pricing. My name is Betty Berning, HighGround’s Contributing Dairy Economist, and today is Wednesday, May 24th. USDA released April Cold Storage numbers today and let’s jump right in.

[00:29] USDA revised March’s butter stocks, moving them up by 16.8 million pounds. When the figures were originally released, they were down on a month-over-month basis, very counter to the seasonal build, but now the Feb to March build was 5.3%, following the normal seasonal pattern.

Overall April inventories for butter totaled 327.7 million pounds, up 10% from April 2022, and up 6% from March. It’s been almost a year since we’ve had butter stocks this large. However, when summing March and April’s increases, the total of 33.7 million pounds, and that is actually smallest build of these two months since 2017.

[01:15] On the cheese front, total cheese stocks were 1.46 billion pounds, down 1.2% from April 2022. However, they grew a modest 3 million pounds from March, which is much smaller than the five-year March to April average build of 26.6 million pounds.

[01:35] Again this month, the declining inventories in the “other cheese” category drove the drop in the lowered total cheese stocks. Other cheese stocks weighed in at 625 million pounds falling from March to April, making it another commodity that went counter to its seasonal pattern.

[01:53] American cheese stores are healthy, though, growing 1.4% versus April 2022. Cheddar production has been strong this spring, and American cheese exports and domestic disappearance were down in March. Perhaps that has trickled into the April data as well and it’s important to note that CME prices throughout April in the cheese complex were lower.

[02:14] USDA also revised March cheese inventories, adding 6.3 million pounds to other cheese, and subtracting 5.5 million pounds from American cheese.

We’ll have a lot more insight in the written report coming out soon.  Thanks for tuning in everyone!