Prices up but not much traded in US imported beef market

14 April 2016

There were upward movements in the US imported beef market this week, but they appeared to be more due to pressure from sellers pushing up rather than end users chasing product. Steiner Consulting Group reports that the 90CL imported cow beef indicator was 1.5US¢ higher this week, on 191US¢/kg CIF (up 2.0A¢/kg, to 553.2A¢/kg CIF). The weekly report also indicates there was not much actual trading done for late spring and early summer (US season) delivery.

The market still appears to be factoring in expected lower prices through the US summer into buying decisions. This is driven largely by fed cattle futures moving lower as a result of the high number of feeder steers being made available early in 2016. In addition, the USDA increased its forecast for US beef production in the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. The forecast is now for a 4.8% increase in 2016 beef production, to 11.29 million tonnes cwt (the previous forecast was for a 3.6% increase, to 11.16 million tonnes cwt).

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