US imported beef market holding firm

27 January 2017

Market prices for US imported beef remain firm this week, as a result of ongoing supply constraints out of Australia and New Zealand.

In the weekly update commissioned by MLA, the Steiner Consulting Group reported that the imported 90CL beef indicator increased 2US¢ from week-ago levels, to 201.5US¢/lb CIF (up 1A¢, to 586.05A¢/kg CIF).

Steiner Consulting Group commented that the general market sentiment was that prices for lean grinding beef have been pushed higher too quickly and consequently the market has seen some pushback from end users. However, this would only be expected to be temporary, with the prospect for slaughter numbers increasing moving into February.

Australian slaughter has remained light in recent weeks due to holiday closures and yesterday’s Australia Day holiday. Steiner Consulting Group reported Australian cattle slaughter for the week ending January 20th was down 17.9% from the same period last year. New Zealand slaughter has shown signs of recovery since the holiday closures but still remains susceptible to changes in weather conditions. Above average rainfall has limited the supply of cattle, particularly the supply of bulls coming to market.

Shipments to the US from Mexico have started strongly, helped by the weak peso, but also due to concerns associated with trade disruptions which could occur later in the year. Shipments from Brazil remain limited, as protocols required to increase manufacturing beef exports to the US still require extensive streamlining.

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