US slaughter trend in contrast to Australia

16 July 2015


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For most of the last two years, over half of Australia’s increasing cattle kill has been made up of cows and heifers, suggesting the breeding stock of cattle is dwindling, and supply will be lower for a number of years to come. In direct contrast, US cattle slaughter has seen a smaller proportion of females in the lower total kill, indicating a significant rebuild is underway.

This difference in slaughter patterns is a large factor in the different prices being received for cattle in the two countries over the last two years, besides the usual differences in cost structures of the supply chain.

The imported beef market continues to reflect the limited supply of US cows and lean meat production, but prices this week were mixed depending on the leanness of trimmings packs. The imported 90CL cow beef indicator was 1.5US¢ higher this week, on 229.5US¢/lb CIF (up 8.4A¢, to 682.5A¢/kg CIF) based on the weekly survey carried out for MLA by the Steiner Consulting Group.

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