US imported beef prices continued to move lower last week – largely due to increased availability from New Zealand, along with a bearish trend in US fed cattle futures and selective end user activity, according to MLA.
New Zealand bull slaughter typically begins to ramp up at this time of year and continues through to February – which has seen an influx of orders over the past week, and prices ease as a result. There is limited time left for the year to book orders for January delivery, and before some processing plants begin to shut over the holiday period for annual maintenance.
Australian packers, on the other hand, reportedly remain cautious in offering product to the US, with other markets, particularly Asia, paying significantly above US levels at present.
The imported 90CL beef indicator eased 6US¢ from the previous week, to 204US¢/lb CIF (down 17.6A¢, to 592A¢/kg CIF).
Last week, US cattle slaughter was tracking 5% higher year-on-year, and is anticipated to remain above year-ago levels for the remainder of 2017.