US imported beef market remains quiet

06 October 2016

Trading was fairly subdued on the US imported beef market this week, as overseas supplies remain quite tight and US end users report weaker demand in the foodservice sector, according to Steiner Consulting Group’s weekly report commissioned by MLA.

The imported 90CL beef indicator eased 1.5US¢ on last week’s levels, to 188.5US¢/lb CIF (down 3.4A¢, to 544A¢/kg CIF).

Steiner Consulting Group reported that, in the last six weeks, combined cattle slaughter from Australia and New Zealand (NZ) was 26% lower than the corresponding period last year. As a result, volumes of grinding beef destined for the US has reduced. With NZ’s 2016-17 production season kicking off in October, NZ beef imports were anticipated to start increasing. However, the report suggests that improved seasonal conditions and a stronger dairy market in NZ have pulled back the number of cows being slaughtered.

At the same time, US cattle slaughter continues to increase, with greater numbers of cattle on feed as well as increased availability of beef cull cows. Steiner reports that, for the week ending 1 October, US fed cattle slaughter was 10% higher year-on-year – marking the largest fed slaughter week so far in 2016.  

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