US imported beef prices ease

10 July 2018

While US imported beef prices were mostly steady this week, they are notably lower than they were in early May, as softer retail demand, lower domestic ground beef prices and ample imported beef supplies continue to place downward pressure on prices.

US domestic product is now much more competitive with respect to imported beef, which has resulted in end users opting to sit on the sidelines in the short term. However, demand from Asian markets, particularly China, remains very strong. 

The imported 90CL beef indicator was down 1.5US¢ to US190¢/lb CIF (down AUD4.8¢ at AUD566.58¢/kg CIF).

In a more positive sign, while US production continues to run above year-ago levels, the added supply is being met with strong global demand for beef.

Market highlights for the week ending 6th July:

  • US beef exports in May were up almost 20% from a year ago while the value of exports was up 27%, evidence of excellent global beef demand.
  • US beef imports from New Zealand were up 29% in May bolstering the supply of imported grinding beef and pressuring imported beef prices vs. domestic beef.
  • US slaughter numbers were down last week due to the holiday but fed and non-fed slaughter continues to run above year ago level. Seasonally, beef prices decline in July and August as retailers shift to lower priced protein features and hot weather impacts grilling demand.

View the Steiner Consulting US imported beef market weekly update

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