Some of the first cattle to be unloaded at the reopened Batchelor Meatworks
Newspaper / Video
AMG completes deal to purchase Cootamundra abattoir
VETERAN meat processor Joe Catalfamo’s Australian Meat Group has confirmed its purchase of the mothballed Cootamundra beef and sheepmeat abattoir on the NSW southwest slopes.
AMG managing director Gilbert Cabralconfirmed to Beef Central this morning that the deal had been completed, and his company would take over the facility in coming weeks. No price was disclosed.
Joe Catalfamo was the owner of the Tasman Group, which sold its six Victorian and Tasmanian processing and lotfeeding interests to JBS in 2008.
Rumours have circulated about a possible sale interest from AMG in the Cootamundra plant for at least 15 months.
The plant has been shut since early 2017, after owners Manildra Group ran into significant livestock supply and price headwinds at the time.
Manildra fought off Chinese investor competition to purchase the Cootamundra abattoir from original owners GM Scott in 2014, not long before the 2015 surge in lamb and cattle prices occurred. The investment was made to diversify Manildra’s agribusiness interests, which include flour and sugar milling, stockfeeds, ethanol production and other commodities.
Through its stockfeeds and by-products connections, Manildra established an integrated grainfed cattle supply chain business a decade ago, and started its investment in the meat sector in 2013 through a joint venture in a retail-ready boning room operated as Argyle Prestige Meats.
Mr Cabral said Cootamundra’s role under AMG’s ownership was still to be determined. “One of its attractions is that it is a multi-species plant,” he said. “We have not yet worked out arrangements for a lamb kill, and will probably do beef only at Cootamundra for the time-being,” he said.
It might take ‘quite some time’ for livestock processing operations to commence, Mr Cabral said. Some refurbishments were likely to take place at the facility before any decisions were made about sourcing slaughter livestock.
He said the plant remained in reasonably good shape, despite being mothballed for the past three years.
AMG currently processes beef only at its Dandenong facility southeast of Melbourne, formerly owned by Castricums, with a capacity of 1500 cattle a day. The company previously processed lambs, sheep and goats at a second facility at Deniliquin, which it closed about three years ago – at much the same time as the Cootamundra plant shut its doors.
Cootamundra is a Tier-Two export licensed plant, the same as Dandenong, giving access to primary markets including the US, Japan and Korea – but it does not presently have approval to supply the China market.
The sale ends a difficult five year stint in the meat processing industry for Manildra’s founder, Dick Honan, with narrow margins caused by limited livestock supply and high stock prices having plagued the business.
At the time of Cootamundra’s closure in early 2017 he said problems were due to a “critical lack of livestock supply and export markets unwilling or unable to pay more for Australian meat.” The plant also lost a larger supermarket retail-ready supply contract the year before.
In late 2018, local livestock industry sources in the Cootamundra area said there had been rumours circulating for several weeks that a Chinese consortium might be lining up to purchase the plant.
Cootamundra at one point processed up to 4200 sheep/lambs and 200 cattle a day, delivering output of up to 800,000 lamb and 25,000 beef carcases each year.
Original owners GM Scott invested $7 million in a major plant upgrade in 2012 through a new processing floor, with a view to upgrading from tier-one to tier-two export status, opening up premium export markets. Cootamundra also employed a retail-ready line producing case-ready MAP and Darfresh packed beef and lamb.
Beef Central asked AMG’s Gilbert Cabral about recent rumours that a South American processor, most likely Minerva, might be sizing up an investment in the Australian Meat Group’s processing assets. Some had linked the Cootamundra purchase with a larger Minerva investment deal.
“There’s nothing in that at all,” Mr Cabral said.
Mars appointed global CEO of Brazil’s Minerva
SOUTH American beef processing giant Minerva SA has appointed former JBS Australia chief executive officer Iain Marsas the company’s first global chief executive officer.
Part of the reason behind the appointment is Minerva’s expansion and diversification of its production platform over the past few years, with 50 percent of total production now occurring outside of Brazil. Unlike some other major Brazilian processors, Minerva is heavily export-focused.
The company in 2016 slaughtered 2.3 million cattle in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Colombia, generating 580,000 tonnes of beef.
In 2016, the company took a small interest in the Australian red meat industry, buying Brisbane-based non-packer exporter and trading company, IMTP. At time of purchase, the company said the investment in IMTP created an opportunity to integrate beef and sheepmeat supply from Australia and New Zealand into Minerva’s extensive sales and distribution network around the world.
Mr Mars is currently visiting Australia, and was Beef Central’s guest at its table at the Rural Press Club breakfast held at Beef 2018 in Rockhampton this morning. Other guests attending included Andrew Brazier, global head of beef procurement for McDonald’s, former Red Meat Advisory Council chairman Ross Keane, industry analyst and commentator Simon Quilty and former Australian Cattle Vets president, Dr Enoch Bergman.
Minerva’s appointment of Mr Mars and several other high ranking management positions would bring greater operational synergies, promote best practices, and “expedite the process of geographical arbitration and commercial decisions,” the company said.
While not speaking during Beef 2018, Mr Mars has attended a number of seminars, especially those with sustainability as a key theme. He told Beef Central that South America itself was making rapid progress in moving down the sustainability path, backed by verification programs.
In his new role, Mr Mars will have oversight for beef operations in Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Paraguay, and value-adding business.
Mr Mars first joined Minerva in 2012. He has extensive experience in the processing industry, having worked in the sector for more than 30 years, including two stints in Australia, firstly at the old Darwin export abattoir in the 1970s, and later as CEO of JBS Australia. He has also directed major meat companies in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Argentina, Egypt, Russia and the UK.
Since returning to Minerva in 2012 he has served in a number of roles, including chief operating officer of the company’s Beef Brasil division and most recently, chief commercial officer.
5 JANUARY 2020 – Tadmansori director, Dato Seri Anggraini Sentiyaki Adnan leads the distribution of food with Tadmansori co-company, PT Barokah Bersaudara.
Dato Seri Anggraini and the company staffs in Jakarta distributes food to the people today in the flood effected area this area badly hit with 8 meters of water.
They giving the food at the most flooded area in Pondok Gede Permai, Jakarta.
Flood reached the second floor of most homes. Almost 8meter high.
4 January 2020 – “My new mosque under construction in Cambodia. This mosque is built for wakaf of both my father and mother.This is the second mosque which I wakaf in Cambodia.insyallah will built more for the Muslim community in other part of the world,” said Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor for latest Tadmansori CSR for the Muslim world through YAYASAN ALMANSORIAH.
3 Disember 2019 – ABC Radio Australia broadcast.
Batchelor multi-species abattoir officially reopens, ‘blessing’ for NT’s cattle and buffalo industries – ABC Rural – ABC News
The Northern Territory’s cattle and buffalo industries once again have access to a major commercial abattoir, with the Batchelor meatworks officially reopened.
- The Batchelor abattoir has undergone a multi-million dollar refurbishment after being out of action for 16 years
- Stock will be sourced from as far away as the Kimberley, Borroloola and Tennant Creek
- Many international enquiries have been received about buffalo meat
The abattoir at Batchelor, 100 kilometres south of Darwin, has been out of action since 2003, but has been brought back to life thanks to a multi-million-dollar refurbishment by meat company Central Agri Group.
Speaking to ABC Rural as the first animals were arriving on site for processing, Central Agri’s Peter Polovinka said it had taken 18 months of hard work to get the abattoir up and running.
“It has been a hard slog and now we are finally going,” he said.
“It means a lot to me to start processing cattle and buffalo here for the Northern Territory farmers and station owners.
Mr Polovinka said the first consignments of boxed beef from the abattoir will be exported to markets such as Japan, Vietnam and Singapore.
He said the abattoir was hopeful of sourcing stock from as far west as Kununurra in the Kimberley, as far east as Borroloola, and as far south as Tennant Creek.
The NT has been without a major abattoir since the Australian Agricultural Company (AACo) mothballed its $100 million abattoir at Livingstone last year.
Contract musterer Jed Fawcett was on site this morning delivering scrub bulls to the abattoir.
He said people involved in the cattle industry had been very keen to see the abattoir back in production.
“A multi-species meatworks like this will be really good for the Northern Territory and complement the live export trade really well,” he said.
“And for the buffalo industry, this will be awesome.”
Buffalo industry veteran Michael Swart said the NT’s feral buffalo population was on the rise and a meatworks at Batchelor was a “godsend” for the industry.
“At the moment our main buffalo market is sending bulls for the live export trade,” he said.
“We need this to be a success and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be.
“We’re always getting a lot of enquiries from overseas about buffalo meat, so if they can crack onto that, then it shouldn’t be a problem at all [making this abattoir a success].”
ABC Rural spotted a mob of feral donkeys in a paddock right next to the abattoir on Monday; there have been rumours the Batchelor plant will also be processing feral animals such as donkeys.
When asked about them, Mr Polovinka said the company was not accredited for processing donkeys, but was considering their options.
“Not at this stage, but we’ll look at that in the future,” he said.
Chief executive of the NT Cattlemens’ Association, Ashley Manicaros, said the reopening of the Batchelor abattoir was great news for the cattle industry.
He said since the closure of the AACo abattoir, Top End cattle not suited to the live export trade had either remained in paddocks or had been trucked thousands of kilometres across to the Kimberley Meat Company’s abattoir near Broome, or to abattoirs over east.
“Even though this is reasonably small in size, from an Australian-scale point of view, it allows us to enter a boxed beef export market which is a space we haven’t been able to play in since AACo closed Livingstone,” Mr Manicaros said.
The first cattle are due to be processed on Tuesday and by the end of the week the abattoir should be killing around 120 animals a day.
Next year it is expected to process around 30,000 animals.
The abattoir is currently employing around 40 people, but the company said that would ramp up in 2020.
“We were fortunate enough to pick up some skilled labour from the [previously operating] AACo plant,” Central Agri’s Stuart Brooks said.
“There’s quite a few more resumes here, so hopefully we can get a few more locals on our books.”
Abattoir worker Brett Dooley said he had never worked in a meatworks before, but was excited about his new job which was “about one minute away from my driveway”.
“The economy around here is going to thrive, and it’s been needed for a long time,” he said.
“A lot of businesses around here have been doing it slow and steady
“The abattoir will make Batchelor thrive again and make it worthwhile being here.”
22 November 2019 – Today is a anniversary friendship between our Founder Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and Mr Park Chang Dong, South Korean.
As 90CL beef prices boom, ‘It’s a good time to be an Australian processor,’ analysts say
THE record bull-run in imported 90CL grinding beef prices shows no sign of abating, with the US indicator price climbing to a new record high of A840.6c/kg this week.
Prices for cow meat have now lifted a dramatic 217c/kg when measured in Aussie dollar terms since the start of 2019.
The 90CL (Chemical Lean) US imported indicator is a benchmark price for frozen manufacturing beef into the US. Supply uncertainty over coming quarters and strong global demand are the underlying drivers, enhanced recently by more favourable currency movements.
Chinese demand for meat is having a significant impact on supply and demand dynamics around the world, MLA said in commentary this week. Through 2019, China has quickly accumulated market share among key global exporters. This buying power is likely to continue, maintaining pressure on traditional markets, such as the US, MLA suggests.
Cow prices at three-year highs
Demand for manufacturing beef has overtaken female cattle supply as the major driver of prices, with the eastern states medium cow indicator this week rising to its highest level since 2016.
From the beginning of 2007 to the end of 2014, the NLRS medium cow indicator averaged 131¢/kg liveweight. From 2015 to 2018, the indicator rose to an average of 214¢/kg and since June this year, it has risen again to an average of 222¢/kg.
Seventy percent of cows sold though saleyards have been purchased by processors in 2019, predominately destined for overseas markets. This means that while domestic competition is important, it is the global demand that is ultimately driving the medium cow indicator higher.
On Tuesday the eastern states medium cow indicator rose to 247.25¢/kg liveweight, the highest it has been since 2016. The strength of current prices is remarkable when taking into consideration the severe drought that has resulted in high levels of female cattle slaughter seen during the past 12 months. Some of the top prices for medium cows seen this week included 264¢/kg at Wagga on Monday, 278¢/kg at Roma and 255¢/kg at Shepparton on Tuesday.
With question marks regarding US domestic supply next year and the seemingly ever-growing demand for beef from China, buyers are using forward sales tactics to secure supply and purchasing lean primal cuts, such as knuckles and insides, driving import prices higher.
90CL/cow price spread widens
The 90CL premium (spread between the saleyard medium cow indicator and US imported 90CL indicator) is now at A356¢/kg – the largest spread seen since December 2014.
With the Australian herd still in a liquidation phase, high 90CL prices provide reassurance that demand shouldn’t recede any time soon, MLA said in commentary this week. If a decent break in the weather was to occur, reinvigorated restocker interest would compete with the slaughter market, causing the medium cow indicator to rise sharply, again closing the spread on the 90CL price.
Typically, the Australian medium cow indicator responds to movements in the lean manufacturing beef market. As global demand bids up the price of US imported beef, the Australian market has found support despite challenging seasonal conditions and elevated female slaughter. In times of high cow turnoff, strong 90CL prices add value which would likely be missing otherwise, MLA said.
Lean beef price continues to climb the ladder
In its weekly market commentary, US market analyst Steiner Consulting said lean imported beef prices continued to climb the ladder, as offerings have been consistently short of bids and some market participants have found it increasingly difficult to cover needs.
“It is important to recognise that market shorts are not just traders that have promised to deliver product at a given price, even though they had yet to purchase the product,” Steiner said.
“The biggest shorts in the market are processors that have committed to deliver finished product to their customers either on a fixed price basis or, more often, on some sort of formula basis. They need to figure out a way how to make that happen. They can purchase fresh product in the domestic market but adjusting the process to using all fresh sometimes takes time,” Steiner said.
Foodservice operators that had a printed menu item but need to purchase the raw material are also said to be a ‘natural short.’
It is those participants that are driving prices higher in the US, as they seek to find price levels that will draw offerings from Australia, New Zealand, Central America or South America.
“Effectively at this time we have a bidding war between US and Chinese buyers for what is an uncertain supply in the next three to four months,” Steiner said.
“This is a good time to be a New Zealand or Australian processor. Some US end-users appear to have concluded that the best thing to do, at least in the short-term, is to dip into the domestic fed beef supply in order to supplement any potential shortages. While it may be necessary to pay up in order to buy fed domestic beef cuts to make that happen, this is necessary to relieve the pressure.”
“Otherwise the bids for what is are non-existent supplies will simply keep going up,” it said.
Domestic supply availability concerns for Q1
Current US domestic cow slaughter is seasonally higher, mostly due to more beef cows coming to market, Steiner said.
Last week, US cow and bull slaughter was 4pc higher than a year ago and the highest weekly slaughter so far this year.
The main concern for users of lean grinding beef in the US is what happens in the first quarter next year,” Steiner said. “Beef cull cow numbers will be seasonally lower and higher calf prices will slow down the push towards more liquidation. Sharply higher dairy prices and speculation for strong China dairy demand will likely keep dairy culling in check as well.”
While overall US cow slaughter in 2020 is expected to be slightly higher than in 2019, it is possible that cow slaughter in the first quarter may be down as much as 5pc from a year ago.
A big uncertainty in the US manufacturing beef market was what happens if/when Australian beef production declines, especially as more and more New Zealand beef exports are directed into China. NZ’s China exports were sharply higher in September, accounting for about 60pc of all export trade.
Corruption in Malaysia’s Halal Certification Process
By: Murray Hunter
Top officials of Malaysia’s halal certification department have been accused in legal complaints of compromising the country’s Islamic documentation procedures, according to documents obtained by Asia Sentinel. The irregularities call into question whether many of Malaysia’s millions of Muslim consumers are actually buying truly halal meat and generating concern that individuals have put profit before integrity, destroying the reputation of Malaysia’s halal certification system.
Those involved allegedly include Dr. Sirajuddin Suhaimee, a top official who is short-listed to become the department’s next director general (shown above, center, with Munir Hussein, assistant director MUIS, left, and Mohamed Adil Rahman, Oceania Halal Academy and SICHMA auditor, right).
The documents allege that certifiers from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia, known by its Malay acronym JAKIM, interfered in the internal affairs of an authorized halal certifier, abused power and terminated one of its authorized Australian certifiers without cause.
In December 2017, Russell Summer, with the Melbourne-based Conlan Cummings Lawyers, formally filed a complaint with the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources about the slaughter of animals at the Junee Abattoir in New South Wales on behalf of four employees who worked at the facility between February and October of 2017. Junee Abattoir processes over 10,000 lambs a week for the local and export market.
Halal slaughter procedures at the facility, according to the complaint, allegedly disregarded Syariah law forbidding halal meat to come in contact with non-halal meat. The slaughterers alleged that halal and non-halal carcasses were regularly mixed together to make up short orders and shipped out to Malaysia as well as to domestic customers.
The employees further alleged that animals had died from stunning prior to slaughter, which is unacceptable under Syariah law. In addition, according to the complaint, JAKIM’s authorized halal certifier the Supreme Islamic Council of Halal Meat in Australia Inc (SICHMA) not only had full knowledge of these deviations against Syariah law, but Mohamad Adil Rahman, one of SICHMA’s halal auditors, insisted that the mixed meat should still be certified despite not being slaughtered according to halal procedures. The complaint also details that wages, sick and annual leave were withheld from the four slaughterers, mandatory taxation summaries were also denied, and that the four workers were unfairly dismissed. One of the four was injured at work and was told to contact Mohamed Adil Rahman, who is taking on the dual role of a labor contractor to Junee Abattoir as well as the halal auditor, allegedly a conflict of interest.
These are described as important human rights violations in Islam as the hadith “Pay the worker his wages before his sweat has dried” indicates. This should have been of great concern to any halal auditor and JAKIM as the body responsible for halal integrity to Malaysian consumers.
Mohamed Adil Rahman is alleged to have been present regularly at the Junee Abattoir in addition to being the director of another halal certification body called Global Halal Trade Centre, along with the Oceania Halal Academy in Australia while running training courses for JAKIM-certified abattoirs. Oceania Halal Academy is a strategic partner with JAKIM. A source within the industry told Asia Sentinel that Sirajuddin has used Oceania Halal Academy in China for many training and certification jobs in preference to Malaysian trainers and halal auditors. He is also widely known within the Australian industry to have a close personal relationship with Sirajuddin.
The Islamic Co-ordinating Council of Victoria (ICCV), a non-profit halal certifier representing local mosques, Islamic schools and charities, alleged in a written complaint to both the minister Mujahid Yusof Jawa and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) that Sirajuddin had abused his powers through interfering in the internal affairs of the council, making demands about who should and shouldn’t be employed in the halal certification audit process, and unfairly dismissing the ICCV as a JAKIM accredited halal certifier. The council is expected to file suit against JAKIM in the near future.
ICCV was re-approved by JAKIM as a recognized halal certification body in Australia in March 2018 to the end of February 2020. In accordance with the ICCV constitution, an election was held for the positions of chairman and board members. The incumbent chairman Esad Alagic stood down and Ekrem Ozyurck was elected as the new chairman. JAKIM was immediately advised of the changes in office holders of ICCV as specified in the accreditation agreement.
The allegations made by ICCV through Melbourne law firm Kennedy Guy include a muddy dispute in which Sirajuddin is said to have sought to in effect make the council his own vehicle by supporting the former chairman over the newly elected one and sending letters through personal rather than official channels demanding the removal of two directors and the operations manager, well beyond his remit as a Malaysian official.
Also, according to the complaint, Sirajuddin allegedly misled the current ICCV board of directors into believing issues had been resolved when they hadn’t been. As a result, the complaint alleges, on September 25, JAKIM sent ICCV a letter of termination as a foreign certification body on findings over the unresolved issues. The ICCV board say they believe they have been deceived, and that there was a lack of procedural fairness based in assisting minority shareholders to make a legal case against ICCV.
The issue is important because Alagic has been under investigation by the ICCV board over accusations of irregular payments made to officers of JAKIM. Over the protests of the new ICCV board, for instance, he was said to have presented Sirajuddin with an expensive golden tasbih (set of prayer beads) purchased in Turkey. Sirajuddin was also said to have requested that Alagic employ his nephew Mohd Ridza Helmi Ramli and Sheikh Ridzuan Shafie Sheikh Musa at ICCV. They were employed for a short period at ICCV until their visa applications were rejected by Australian authorities.
Since the publication on October 10 and October 29 of articles in Asia Sentinel, both the minister in the Prime Minister’s Department overseeing JAKIM, Mujahid Yusof Jawa, and his deputy, Fuziah Salleh, claimed allegations of corruption were baseless and demanded that the Asia Sentinel provide proof of corruption within JAKIM so an internal investigation could be made, rather than allowing the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigate, as is the usual case in corruption cases.
On November 5, the minister claimed that imposters rather than JAKIM officials were responsible for corruption in the certification process. Sources who asked to remain nameless for fear of retribution, however, told Asia Sentinel that Fuziah had been made aware of allegations against Sirajuddin but is seeking an honorable way out for the director rather than put him under investigation.
However, independently of the minister and deputy minister, MACC Chief Commissioner Latheefa Koya said the allegations of corruption within JAKIM had come to the MACC’s attention and that she will make further announcements as investigations progress.
US imported grinding meat prices hit four-year high
PRICES for Australian imported lean grinding meat in the US have hit a four-year high when measured in Aussie dollar terms, reaching 721c/kg in trading last week.
Not since the US’s significant domestic beef shortage caused by its own earlier drought have prices in A$ reached this level, last seen around September 2015.
Grinding meat prices into the US have gradually improved this year, from around A600c/kg in late January, and A660c/kg in early July.
Strong bidding competition from China for the same product, absence of grinding meat supply to the US out of New Zealand as NZ swings more heavily to supply into China, softer currency and general strong international demand are driving the 20 percent lift in imported Australian 90CL beef prices into the US so far this year.
Currency value has played a part, with the A$ dipping below US67c briefly in trading last week, and sitting for much of the week around 67.6c before lifting sharply this morning to 68.4c. Last week’s currency level was the lowest seen against the US Greenback since a brief period in early 2009 when it dipped below US65c.
In its weekly US imported beef report, US analysts Steiner Consulting said the market for imported lean manufacturing beef used for hamburgers continues to trade very firm, largely because increased competition in the global market means overseas suppliers like Australia can afford to pass on US bids.
Another reason for the firm imported market was that domestic lean beef continued hold value, Steiner said.
“While domestic buyers can look at history and expect a seasonal decline in the value of lean beef to play out, the longer the market continues to trade like this the more anxious US buyers become – and hence the need to have some product around them for fourth quarter (October-December) needs,” Steiner said.
Import volume into the US is lower in September and October, largely because of the seasonal decline in shipments from New Zealand. In the four August weeks for which imported data is available, total imports from grinding beef supplying countries to the US was 36,942t, Steiner reported, down 11,360t or 24pc from a year ago. This is the equivalent of about 630 full truckloads of product that did not arrive in US Ports the last four weeks.
“It is not hard to conceive why imported beef prices were higher, in an environment where there is significantly less volume available to traders and domestic US 90CL is still trading at $225/cwt,” Steiner’s weekly report said.
Economic outlook and risks for imported beef
Strong global demand, mostly from China, has helped prop-up the value of imported beef in the US, causing it to trade at a premium to domestic lean beef for much of the 2019 year.
Steiner said it expected this to be the case for the remainder of the year, especially as Chinese buyers are expected to remain active due to preparations for the Chinese New Year early in 2020.
“The shortfall in pork supplies due to ASF and a consumer shift towards diversifying their meat protein consumption patterns should continue to underpin imported beef prices in the near term,” it said.
However, there were warning signs on the horizon that traders and imported beef suppliers would do well to heed.
“In our view, a US recession presents significant downside risk for imported beef prices in 2020 and 2021,” Steiner said.
“Much will depend on the breadth and duration of any such recession. The global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 resulted in a lot of beef order cancellations as credit dried up. Demand in the US market also softened, largely due to a slowdown in food service business.”
At a time when domestic demand was getting weaker, more imported beef was offered in the US in 2008-09 as US traders had more liquidity than their competitors in other parts of the world. The result was a quick deterioration in imported beef values.
While at this time the US economy remained on a growth path, the perceived risks of a recession have increased dramatically. The US Federal Reserve’s estimates of probability of a recession show a 32pc recession risk by mid-2020.
The last time the recession risk was this high was in the summer of 2008. The escalation of the trade war with China has certainly skewed economic models. It is also possible that by the end of the year we could see an agreement between US and China on trade, which could bolster markets in 2020 and significantly change the economic outlook,” Steiner said.
The result was a fairly wide range in terms of possible imported beef prices for next year. With a current forecast of $220/CWT forecast for next April, a trade agreement between the two could cause imported beef prices to trade over $250/cwt next northern hemisphere summer, while a deterioration in economic conditions could see prices pull back to $180/CWT, and possibly lower.
More beef in cold storage
Steiner also notes that there was more beef in cold storage in the US at the end of July, as buyers sought price protection. The combined inventory of beef, pork, chicken and turkey in cold storage at the end of July was estimated at 2.464 billion pounds, 1.8pc lower than a year ago but still 5.4pc higher than the five year average. Red meat and poultry supply in storage increased by 2.7pc from June levels, and the total supply of beef in cold storage at the end of July was 455.1 million pounds, 2.8pc higher than the five year average.
It is not unusual for beef inventories to increase in July, in part because the slowdown in beef demand and high slaughter levels result in more beef going into cold storage. We also think that higher than expected beef prices caused some end users to accumulate inventory,” Steiner said.
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