Limited supplies on US imported beef market

01 September 2016

The US imported beef market was steady to slightly lower this week, according to the Steiner Consulting Group’s weekly report for MLA, with the weaker sentiment in the US domestic market and subdued interest from US end users continuing to put pressure on prices.

Trading volumes remain very light, with New Zealand approaching the end of their production season and reduced cattle availability in Australia. Despite the limited imported beef from these countries, the report indicates that US end users are securing sufficient supplies from the US domestic market, which has kept imported lean beef prices at a similar level to US beef.

The Steiner Group reports that there is a lot of uncertainty about US fed beef and cattle prices heading into the US autumn, given the volume of cattle coming onto the market. US fed cattle slaughter has been tracking significantly above year-ago levels – reflecting the larger supply of market ready cattle (on feed for more than 120 days). However, the rise in slaughter is not an anomaly, rather a return to more normal levels – with current kill levels in line with 2014, but still below 2013.

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