Limited trading on US imported beef market

03 September 2018

Prices for imported beef in the US market were steady this week, on the back of a largely quiet week of trading. US end users primary focus was on Labor Day production schedules and any desire to secure forward orders remain subdued.

The imported 90CL beef indicator was unchanged in $US terms from last week’s levels, at 190.5US¢/lb CIF (up 3¢, to 576.71A¢/kg CIF).

Robust demand and higher bids from Asian markets has limited offerings into the US market from Australian suppliers. 90CL boneless beef prices in the US have been relatively firm as demand for lean beef has been sustained during the summer. However, the spread between the EYCI and 90CL indicator has widened in light of falling young cattle prices in Australia, the EYCI trading at a 110¢/kg discount, the largest spread since September 2015.

Market highlights for the week ending 31th August:

  • Last week USDA announced a case of atypical BSE in a six-year-old cow in Florida. The announcement had little impact on futures trading as participants did not expect this finding to impact domestic or export markets. As it did a year ago, South Korea announced that it would enhance testing of US beef but trade will continue as usual.
  • On feed supplies on August 1 were up 4.6% from a year ago and estimates are that fed cattle slaughter in August was flat to as much as 1% lower than a year ago. Feedlots will need to market cattle more aggressively in September in order to stay current.
  • Participants continue to debate the implications of spreading African swine fever in China and the potential impact this has, not just on pork supplies but also demand for other proteins, especially beef.

View the Steiner Consulting US imported beef market weekly update

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