June 24, 2011


US imported beef prices softening contrary to trends



Imported lean manufacturing beef prices in the US have softened approximately US$0.30 since April, contrary to the seasonal trend, whereby prices tend to increase leading into the Memorial Day holiday and summer "grilling" season.


Based on the five-year average, the lean manufacturing beef market will soon be reaching its peak in prices for the year before they start to drop off from mid-July.


However, given the unusually high prices at the start to the year, prices are well above the five-year average and 2010 levels, and the lean manufacturing beef market in the US may have already seen its peak.


This resonates with reports of US protein demand slowing down, as recent US cold storage stock figures for May show beef, pork, and poultry stock levels have all increased since the previous year.


Imported beef prices in the US this week have jumped up from last week's values, with reports from Steiner Consulting indicating US end-users this week were willing to secure more Australian product, as supplies from New Zealand become scarcer.

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