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Nation’s Butter Supplies Have Normalized After Low Inventory, Higher Prices

Analyst: Replenished Supplies Means Less Money For Producers

Photo: I-5 Design (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The nation’s supply of butter has rebounded in recent months as inventories were low and prices were high earlier this year.

The spring is usually the time when the dairy industry builds up the butter supply for the all-important holiday season. But, a huge bump in exports led to a lower-than-normal inventory, which also meant higher prices, which hit a record in September, according to Mark Stephenson, the director of dairy policy analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“That was a price that was really strong through much of the year as they were trying to rebuild inventories getting ready for the holiday season that’s coming up here,” Stephenson said. “This is the big time of the year — demand for butter between Thanksgiving and right through to Christmas.”

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Stephenson said the industry has responded to this butter shortage and stocks are approaching a level that is typical for this of year. He said that also means less money for producers.