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Import Prices to US Dropping Sharply

15 December 2014
Meat & Livestock Australia

US - Imported beef prices in the US continued their sharp fall of recent weeks, according to the weekly survey carried out by the Steiner Consulting Group for the MLA market report.

MLA said that all quoted prices were down last week in US$/lb terms, and converting these price to price per kg appears to exacerbate the falls.

Somewhat perversely, the Steiner report also notes that the fact the A$ keeps dropping could be contributing to ongoing high volumes to the US, which is forcing the prices lower.

The week’s indicative imported 90CL cow beef price was down 16.5US¢, to 255US¢/lb CIF (down 37.3A¢, to 642A¢/kg FAS).

US buyers are generally holding off, as the current trend is for prices to drop – and they do not want to be caught with more high-priced stock.

Further to this, they are keen to move current inventories before the price of beef falls further. This weaker buying activity is a factor in the prices falling.

In addition, NZ slaughter is well above year-ago levels, adding to selling competition.

MLA said that a couple of negative factors for beef prices over the next few months include the drop in current prices across the board – not just imported, but domestic cutouts and current fed and feeder prices too.

As well as these, all cattle futures out to at least mid-2015 have become cheaper in the last couple of weeks, MLA report.

The positive aspect is that total beef inventories in cold storage remain low, suggesting that importers and end-users will need to increase their buying relatively early in the New Year.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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