US imported beef market steadies
26 May 2016
The US imported beef market was mostly steady this week, according to the Steiner Consulting Group’s weekly report for MLA. Shipments from overseas suppliers were reportedly slightly lower than recent weeks, as New Zealand’s slaughter begins to contract towards the tail-end of the season and packers become more conscious of their supply availability over the coming months.
The report points out that, as New Zealand slaughter reaches its seasonal low point, Australia will be the main source of lean grinding beef, and with Australia’s higher cattle prices and reduced slaughter, it is likely that imported beef prices will command a premium over US domestic beef.
This week, the imported 90CL cow beef indicator rose 1US¢, to 193.5¢/lb CIF (up 6.5A¢, to 591.9A¢/kg CIF).
Furthermore, boneless beef cold storage stocks have been steadily declining since the beginning of the year, and at the end of April were down 6% than the corresponding period last year. Steiner suggests that a reduction in imported beef stocks has contributed to the overall decline, but the majority of the stock depletion is due to less domestic beef in storage. Fed cattle slaughter remains high, and fed cattle futures hold a considerable discount going forward – leaving packers no incentive to retain inventories, which should help reduce boneless beef stores.
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