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Cheese News

February 2, 2018
WASHINGTON — Total U.S. cheese production, excluding cottage cheese, was 1.089 billion pounds in December, 2.6 percent above December 2016’s 1.062 billion pounds and 3.0 percent above November 2017’s revised 1.057 billion pounds, according to preliminary data released Thursday by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. (All figures are rounded. Please see CMN’s Dairy Production chart on page 15.)

Adjusting for the length of the months, December cheese production was 0.3 percent below November 2017 production on an average daily basis.

December’s preliminary production data brings U.S. production for the year to 12.475 billion pounds, up 2.6 percent from 12.158 billion pounds in 2016. 2016 was a leap year, and when adjusted for the additional day in 2016, cheese production in 2017 was up 2.9 percent on an average daily basis.

USDA will release updated 2017 cheese production numbers later in the year.

In December, production of Mozzarella, the nation’s most-produced cheese, totaled 363.4 million pounds, up 1.4 percent from December 2016. Italian-type cheese production, of which Mozzarella is the largest component, totaled 466.6 million pounds, 0.9 percent above December 2016.

Cheddar production in December totaled 317.1 million pounds, up 3.2 percent from December 2016. American-type cheese production, of which Cheddar is the largest component, totaled 432.9 million pounds, 2.9 percent above December 2016.

Wisconsin led the nation’s cheese production in December with 288.7 million pounds, an increase of 2.6 percent over its production a year earlier. California followed with 217.4 million pounds, up 0.1 percent from a year earlier.

The next three cheese-producing states in December were Idaho with 84.7 million pounds, up 3.7 percent from December 2016; New York with 77.7 million pounds, up 8.3 percent; and New Mexico with 66.7 million pounds, down 2.2 percent.

NASS reports U.S. butter production in December was 170.3 million pounds, 4.2 percent above December 2016’s 163.4 million pounds and 15.5 percent above November 2017’s 147.4 million pounds. When adjusting for the length of the months, December butter production was 11.8 percent higher than November production on an average daily basis.

The preliminary December numbers bring total 2017 U.S. butter production to 1.844 billion pounds, up 0.2 percent from 1.839 billion pounds in 2016. When adjusting for 2016 being a leap year, 2017 butter production was up 0.5 percent on an average daily basis