Steady start for 2016 in US imported beef market

14 January 2016

Since the last full market report the week before Christmas, the US imported beef market has been moving along at a relatively sedate pace. Prices reported by the Steiner Consulting Group over this period have been fairly steady for most trim products, while there has been slightly more movement in the whole cuts market. In contrast, the US cattle market continued its ups and downs of the previous few months, still looking for a strong indication as to where prices will move in 2016.

The indicative imported 90CL cow beef price was 177US¢/lb CIF this week, down 0.5US¢ on last week, and level with the two weeks prior to that. This is 27% lower than 12 months ago. In A$ terms, the indicator was 559.9A¢/kg CIF, 15% lower than this time last year.

The weekly Steiner Report indicates that much of the trading occurring at present is on the spot market, with most buyers not yet ready to take a longer-term position – still wary of market movements similar to last year and being caught with expensive inventory. Warehouses are still relatively full of beef, pork and chicken, but the volume of beef being offered by Australian exporters is still low enough to keep some pressure off the market.

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