US imported beef prices slide on shortened trading week

27 November 2017

US imported beef prices moved lower this week as a result of limited trading, with the annual Thanksgiving holiday creating a shorter trading week. In addition, US end users are now focused on securing product to cover holiday requirements.   

US end users remain reluctant to accept the higher asking prices on offer from overseas suppliers. Despite lower prices quoted during the week, the availability of product in the spot market continues to be extremely limited. US end users wishing to secure larger orders for delivery in future are having to pay a premium to secure product.

The imported 90CL beef indicator declined 3.5US¢ from week-ago levels, to 210US¢/lb CIF (down 10A¢, to 609.57A¢/kg CIF).

Fed cattle slaughter last week was 2.6% higher than the same period last year and US cattle slaughter is anticipated to remain above year ago levels through the end of the year, the result of a larger dairy cow inventory. Furthermore, the increase in feedlot placements during September and October will bolster supplies heading into the US spring.

Highlights from the week ending 24th November:

  • CME fed cattle futures traded sideways this week as both the cutout and cash fed cattle prices appeared to stabilise
  • Ground beef retail featuring is usually at the lowest point of the year this week as most features are for holiday items such as turkey and hams. Retail activity normally does not recover until later December and early January
  • Beef in cold storage at the end of October was 5% less than a year ago but still as much as 10% above the five-year average

Click here to view Steiner Consulting US imported beef market weekly update 

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