WASHINGTON — Butter stocks on March 31 totaled 178,347000 lbs, down 30% from a year ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its April 22 Cold Storage report.

After running well above same month year-ago levels from August 2011 through October 2013, butter stocks dipped below the year-earlier level in November 2013 and have been well below each month since. The March 2014 butter stocks amount was the lowest for the month since March 2011, according to U.S.D.A. data.

Prices for cash butter traded at the CME Group were around $1.90 a lb in mid-April, up more than 5% from a year ago.