Ed Czerwien, USDA Market News reporter in Amarillo, TX, provides us with the latest outlook on boxed beef prices and the weekly cattle trade.
The Comprehensive or weekly average Choice cutout was $245.03, $5.44 lower than the previous week. There were 6,601 total loads sold, which was 1,644 loads lower than the previous week.
We continue to increase our imports of fresh beef; these fresh beef imports include a large quantity of trimmings that goes into ground beef products. The latest report of imported meat passed for entry into the U.S. for January 31 reported 25,925 metric tons of fresh beef. This equates to over 57 million lbs. for that one week alone. Year-to-date for the first five weeks of 2015, fresh beef imports are running 61% higher than last year. Our largest importer is Australia, up 109%. New Zealand stands second at 58%. Our high beef prices and the higher value of the dollar are definitely attracting imports.
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