March 5, 2004



Australian Cattle Prices Up On High Export Demand

Cattle prices in Australia rose significantly after a three-week fall following an increase in export demand, marketing concern Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd. reported Friday.
Demand for trade and export steers continues to be firm, it said in a weekly market review.
Around two-thirds of Australian beef production is exported, making it a major world beef exporter and making export demand an important driver of prices in domestic saleyards.
In the U.S. this week, the imported beef market was relatively steady, it said.
Increased domestic beef supplies have adversely impacted beef shipments from Australia, it said.
In the U.S., Australian frozen 95 chemical lean (CL) bull beef closed 2 cents higher at US$1.15 a pound (including carriage, insurance and freight), still up from US$0.99/lb a year ago.
Frozen 90CL cow beef added 1 cent to US$1.08/lb, up from US$0.93 a year ago.
The free on board prices in Australia for these products rose 16 cents and 10 cents to A$3.05 a kilogram estimated dressed weight and A$2.83/kg respectively, free alongside.
In Australian saleyards, a national price indicator for cows suitable for the U.S. trade rose 11 cents to A$2.57/kg estimated carcass weight, down from A$2.75/kg a year ago.
In Japan, export prices rose a little this week, with orders expected to pick up further in anticipation of the import tariff on chilled beef decreasing from April 1, it said.
Prices in Japan for Australian chilled grass-fed fullsets added 5 cents this week to US$1.75/lb, including carriage and freight, up from a year-ago level of US$1.62/lb. A fullset comprises about a dozen different cuts of beef.
The estimated free on board price for this product in Australia was quoted at A$4.74 free alongside, down from A$5.40 a year ago, it said.
In Australia, a national price indicator for the type of beast suitable for Japan closed the week 12 cents higher at A$2.99/kg, down from A$3.36/kg a year ago.
A national price indicator for the type of beast suitable for the South Korea trade gained 13 cents to close the week at A$2.95/kg, down from A$3.12/kg a year go.
A national price indicator for domestic trade steers jumped 11 cents to settle at A$3.28/kg, down from a year-ago level of A$3.38/kg.

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