Slow week for US imported beef market

10 April 2018

US end users sat on the sidelines this week, with market participants showing concerns over potential trade tensions between China and the US.

The imported 90CL beef indicator eased US5¢, to US204¢/lb CIF (back AUD13¢ at AUD585.29¢/kg CIF).

Australian beef shipments to the US in March were 10% lower than March 2017, with expectations for Australian beef exports to the US to further decline this year. Supplies out of New Zealand are expected to increase slightly in May and June, as the seasonal cow slaughter lifts, however US beef availability is predicted to increase at a faster pace. The estimated supply of +120 day cattle on feed on April 1 was 24% higher than the same period in 2017. Therefore, the premium for imported beef over US domestic product will be expected to continue for the near future.

Highlights for the week ending 6th April:

·        US imported beef trade was very slow to develop, with end users apprehensive in the face of meat market uncertainty and sharply lower fed cattle prices.

·        Although China buys minimal volumes of US beef, the potential disruption to trade may constrain global economic growth, leading to weaker red meat demand.

·        For the first three months of 2018, Australian beef and veal shipments to the US are down 2%, while overall exports have increased 9%.

·        New Zealand cow slaughter is predicted to rise sharply throughout late April and early May, pushing more beef into the US at the same time US fed cattle slaughter is expected to hit the highest levels since 2012.

 Click here to view the Steiner Consulting US imported beef market weekly update.



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