US imported beef prices change direction

US imported beef prices altered course this week, following an extended period of decline. The turnaround was a result of increased US end user activity, combined with limited spot availability.

The imported 90CL beef indicator lifted 5US¢ from week-ago levels, to 204.15US¢/lb CIF (up 15A¢, to 562.60A¢/kg CIF).

US fed cattle futures climbed throughout the week, in turn generating increased activity from end users who had previously been happy to sit on the sideline as the cattle futures market tumbled. The prospect of increased cattle prices later in 2017 triggered a change in the market dynamics.

The increase in market activity left some US end scrambling to cover orders, especially for lean grinding beef, however availability remains limited in the spot market. Steiner Consulting Group report that grinding beef imports for the week ending 9th September 2017 were around 7,500 tonnes, having previously averaged 14,000 tonnes per week between mid-July 2017 and mid-August 2017.

While US beef production is projected to increase through until the end of 2017, the extent to which it does will have a varying impact on grinding beef prices moving into the New Year.

Source: MLA

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