The US imported 90CL beef indicator declined 3.5US¢ this week to average 191.5US¢/lb CIF (388¢/kg FAS), with end-users continuing to reportedly purchase only for immediate needs.
Meanwhile, domestic fresh lean grinding beef prices have trended down in recent weeks, averaging 221US¢/lb.
The decline in beef prices after Memorial Day is seasonal, with Steiner Consulting Group anticipating domestic lean beef prices to ease another 10US¢ between now and the end of August.
A few factors continue to underpin the US imported beef markets.
While cattle slaughter in NZ has fallen significantly year-on-year over the past month, Australian eastern cattle slaughter during the first three weeks of June has also been slightly lower.
Although the impacts of the testing for non-O157 STEC E. coli are yet to be seen, the additional costs of testing are expected to make trading to the US market more challenging for Australian exporters in the future.
US cow slaughter has steadily increased in recent weeks and is currently above year ago levels, as dry pasture negatively impacts cow-calf operators’ intentions to rebuild herds and pushes more cows to market.
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