Imported lean beef prices move above domestic in the US

21 July 2016

The ongoing limited supplies of lean manufacturing beef out of Australia and New Zealand this winter, combined with the strong retail and foodservice markets for ground beef in the US, have pushed and pulled the imported beef indicators higher again this week. According to the survey of importers conducted by the Steiner Consulting Group (SCG) for MLA, imported 90CL beef is now dearer than domestic beef in the US wholesale market.

The weekly report from the SCG suggested that some buyers did not purchase enough beef earlier in the season, and are now short of product. There were also mixed interpretations from foodservice sales results – some market participants indicated the sector is weaker than expected, while wholesale market prices suggest it is performing well given the higher supply of domestic beef available in the market at present.

The imported 90CL beef indicator jumped a further 4US¢ this week, to 210.5US¢/lb CIF (up 16.5A¢, to 616.9A¢/kg CIF). At a customs cleared level, the 90CL imported beef price was 217US¢/lb, compared with the domestic wholesale price at 214.5US¢/lb.

This week’s SCG report also includes a good summary of the potential re-entry of Brazilian beef into the US market. The Brazilian Agriculture Minister will be visiting the US next week.

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