US imported beef market stabilises
18 December 2017
The US imported beef market stabilised this week, following a fortnight of declining prices. Trading volumes were fairly light, however, as some overseas packers turned down the lower US bids.
The imported 90CL beef indicator was steady week-on-week, at 199US¢/lb CIF (down 3.1A¢, to 577.5A¢/kg CIF).
Offerings from Australia remain limited, as improved seasonal conditions and feed supplies have seen slaughter relatively tight. As a result, Australian packers are reportedly holding firm in their pricing.
On the other hand, dry conditions in parts of New Zealand have driven a lift in beef supplies, with a considerable amount of product booked for delivery in January and early February, although packers remain careful not to overcommit.
An interesting development this year has been the growth in US beef imports from Mexico. Steiner Consulting forecast US imports of Mexican beef for 2017 to be 26% greater than imports from New Zealand and 4% greater than imports from Australia. It’s important to note, however, that most Mexican beef imported to the US is chilled beef cuts, which don’t compete directly with grinding beef from Australia and New Zealand.
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