USDA Cold Storage Report released on Aug. 22 is showing a near-record high 330 million lbs of butter in cold storage across the U.S. and is the second highest stock level for this time of the year in nearly two decades.
Stocks rose somewhat unexpectedly by nearly 3.5 million lbs, up 1 percent from June and up nearly 4 percent from July 2018. Stocks typically begin to fall in July as temperatures rise and milk production ebbs.
The market had therefore anticipated a small decline in stocks. Instead, the July figure came close to the record high of 333 million pounds set in July 2016. The butter market took the news hard as a sell-off took prices down 10 cents this week or about 5 percent. Total U.S. cheese stocks were down 1 percent from June and down more than 3 percent YOY, suggesting that more cream is being consumed in butter production than cheese in 2019.
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