The past week saw US imported beef prices lift higher, with the benchmark 90CL indicator jumping 6.5US¢, to 201US¢/lb CIF on the back of increased end user demand (Steiner Consulting).
Most of the increased demand from end users was reportedly focused upon late November and December deliveries, especially for those who have been relatively inactive in the market in recent months.
With the A$ appreciating this week, finishing Thursday at 103.72US¢, some of the benefit from the higher imported prices this week were eroded, but prices still improved 10¢, to 400A¢/kg FAS.
The latest Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry Outlook, released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to point to very tight cattle supplies underpinning higher US beef and cattle prices for the remainder of 2012 and throughout 2013. Supporting this are historically high futures prices for both live and feeder cattle.
With total US beef production for 2012 estimated to decline 3% on 2011, production in 2013 is forecast to fall another 4%, to 11.17 million tonnes cwt. This would take the decline in US beef production between 2011 and 2013 to an estimated 710,000 tonnes swt – the equivalent of one-third of Australia’s annual beef production.
Given the reduced production, the USDA also forecasts US beef imports for 2013 to increase 11% on 2012, to 1.19 million tonnes cwt, while exports will remain relatively steady, at 1.11 million tonnes cwt.