US imported beef market resisting higher moves

03 March 2016

The imported beef market in the US was mixed this week, after consecutive weeks of higher prices. The weekly report from the Steiner Consulting Group indicated that there was less activity in the market, so smaller volumes were traded, with a few key manufacturing beef categories slightly cheaper, while others moved a little higher. The downward pressure came mainly from buyers, with Australian and NZ exporters still looking to retain their recent gains.

The imported 90CL cow beef indicator was down 0.5US¢ this week, to 204US¢/lb CIF (down 1.9A¢, to 626.1A¢/kg CIF).

The Steiner Group is reporting that foodservice demand for beef is still relatively weak, in response to a slowdown in activity and a weakening outlook over the US winter, and because the price of competing proteins (pork and poultry) remain stubbornly low. This encourages their use and promotion at the expense of beef. While warmer weather is due in the next couple of months, which should stimulate extra beef consumption, the price issue remains key in the medium to long term.

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