Light trade to the US

17 September 2015

US imported beef prices continued to slide this week as trading remains restricted due to limited quota availability until the end of the year. Reports suggest increased trade interest for November and December, although most market participants are not looking beyond the end of this year. 

US fed cattle prices are now sitting at the lowest level since January 2014, with the USDA quoting cash fed steer prices at $138/cwt. This lower price has had a negative flow on affect to October futures contract prices. The most significant factor behind the decline in prices is a lack of demand from packers and end users.  

Cow meat supplies have increased from their summer lows (week ending 19th September estimated to be 4.5% lower than year-ago levels at 106.000 head) and they are expected to remain high over the coming weeks. Although slaughter is still running below last year’s levels, it is still increasing compared to the summer months and could place much needed pressure on the market for domestic lean grinding beef.

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