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Weak Finish to 2014 for US Imported Beef Market

29 December 2014
Meat & Livestock Australia

US - Prices of imported beef products from Australia and NZ into the US took another tumble last week, with the ongoing high NZ slaughter and large volumes of Australian product traded, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

Although entries of NZ beef into the US had not spiked as of the previous week, customs cleared imports are likely to increase in the last two weeks of the year, bringing NZ closer to their annual quota (as at 15 December, 83.9 per cent of 213,402 tonnes, compared with Australia’s 78.4 per cent of 413,214 tonnes).

The 90CL cow beef indicator dropped another 12.5US¢ this week, to 242.5US¢/lb CIF (down 18.4A¢, to 623.6A¢/kg FAS), based on Steiner Consulting group’s weekly survey of importers.

Most other products were also cheaper, with the exception of 65–80CL trimmings, which were steady.

MLA analysts said that the US domestic market is also on the way down, with spot prices for feeder cattle and fed steers dropping three per cent in the past week, after starting to decline in early December.

Both feeder and live cattle futures have also dropped significantly in the last two weeks, suggesting demand for cattle at the processor level will be weaker than what it was a month ago.

In an historic context, prices are still very high, but it has been a sharp correction during the first half of December.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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