US imported beef market continues to slide

24 September 2015

Imported US beef prices continued to move lower this week due to a lack of buying interest and a sharp decline in US domestic lean grinding beef prices, according to the Steiner Consulting Group’s weekly report collated for MLA.

US end user activity is reportedly subdued, while importers work through their existing inventories. The report indicates that demand for imported beef has weakened, and the seasonal decline in domestic lean beef prices is evident in market – making domestic product quite competitive.

The 90CL cow beef indicator was 1.5US¢ lower this week, to 230US¢/lb CIF (up 1.7A¢, to 714A¢/kg CIF), and most other categories also registered declines.

The weekly report informs that US fed cattle prices are now at their lowest level since late 2013. The sharp contraction of US cattle slaughter over the spring and summer saw cattle numbers in feedlots increase. According to the USDA, cattle on of feed as of September 1 was 9.986 million head – up 2.7% on year-ago levels. The higher supplies of market ready cattle are reportedly likely to place further pressure on prices in the near future.

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