Imported US beef prices higher as light trading continues

21 April 2016

US imported beef prices continued to move higher this week – although mostly due to overseas sellers pushing prices upwards, according the weekly report for MLA by the Steiner Consulting Group.

The report explains that imported beef trade in the US is quite difficult at present, due to a combination of factors.

Firstly, over the last six weeks, cattle slaughter in Australia and New Zealand has been considerably lower than the corresponding period last year, so overall supply availability is tight. Secondly, the A$ and NZ$ are 15% and 11% stronger, respectively, than January levels, against the US$. Thirdly, US fed cattle futures continued to decline this week, which implies weaker lean beef prices in late spring and summer. As a result, US buyers are likely to sit on the sidelines in anticipation of lower prices.

Steiner Consulting Group reports that the 90CL imported cow beef indicator was 5.5US¢ higher week-on-week, at 196.5US¢/kg CIF (up 8.6A¢/kg, to 558.7A¢/kg CIF).

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