Cold Storage

The Cold Storage survey measures reserve food supplies held in commercial and public warehouses. These holdings are immediately outside consumer pipelines.

Approximately 700 commercial and public warehouses in the 48 states that store refrigerated products 30 days or more represent the target population.


Publications

The Cold Storage report is released around the 22th of the month. The report includes amounts in storage as of the last day of the previous month for about 130 items. Estimates are made for 9 regions and the U.S. Revisions to the previous month's report are published at this time.

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Program Content

The survey asks for inventories as of the last calendar day of the month for agricultural products, such as butter, American cheese and other natural cheeses, pork bellies and other pork products, all vegetables, all fruits and berries, whole chickens and chicken parts, whole turkeys and turkey parts, and boneless beef.

Uses

The industry uses the data to gauge current supplies of products available to consumers. For some commodities, the estimates are factored into public price discovery. Producers also use the data for business decisions. Economists and other analysts use the data to monitor the health of the industry and to compute the industry's contribution to the agricultural sector. Data frequently supplement production, import, and export data in balance sheets.

Frequency

Data are collected and published monthly. A 12-month summary of the previous calendar year is published each February.

Methods

NASS maintains a list of cold storage facilities that store targeted products for 30 days or more. Questionnaires are mailed to about 500 firms monthly with telephone follow up to the nonrespondents. Data are received via e-mail from an additional 200 companies. Responses generally cover 78 percent of the U.S. storage capacity. Imputation is done for operations not reporting using historical data and current data relationships. Reports received late for the current month are processed for the revised estimates published the following month.

Special Features

Record highs and lows, for the reference month, are included for each commodity.

Biennially, a capacity survey is conducted to supplement the monthly updates of names and addresses for potential reporting firms. These data are used by firms planning to expand.

Related Programs

Livestock Slaughter
Manufactured Dairy Products
Dairy Product Prices
Poultry Slaughter

Last Modified: 05/31/2018