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Recovery In Beef Export Prices Lifts Cattle Values

15 February 2010
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Export prices to Australia's two largest beef markets, Japan and the US, have risen by around 20 per cent over the past two months, principally due to low supplies out of Australia and a small fall in the A$ from around US$0.92 to 0.89ยข.

Chilled grassfed and grainfed fullset prices (in A$ terms FAS) to Japan are now 11 per cent and three per cent, respectively, above the average for 2009. Demand for grassfed beef has been assisted by low beef stocks in Japan and consumers ‘trading down’ to cheaper grassfed product from grainfed beef in these tough economic times.

Meat and Livestock Australia says that the price of 90CL cow beef to the US (in A$ terms FAS) is now close to the average for 2009, and only one per cent below the five-year average. This recovery has essentially reflected a 33 per cent year-on-year fall in imported beef supplies.

On the back of increased processor interest and the recent rains, prices for Japan ox rose 13¢ this week to 309¢/kg cwt, bringing the lift since the lows of December to 14 per cent. Similarly, US cow prices have risen 16 per cent since their December low.

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