The Mintec Category Index (MCI) for US meat increased 9.1% quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) and 22.6% year-on-year (y-o-y) to USD 3,715.5/MT in early June 2022. However, the index marginally declined 0.8% month-on-month (m-o-m) with a bearish trend in the US pork market. US pork prices have been falling since April, reflecting a slowdown in wholesale demand for pork as retail consumers begin to back away from high-priced retail pork cuts. Also, weak demand from China (amid COVID-related lockdowns and pork production recovery in Chinese market) for US pork weighed on US exports and thus led to a decline in US pork prices.
An increase in US beef and chicken prices offset the decrease in US pork prices, resulting in a y-o-y upward movement of the US meat MCI in early June. The Mintec price for US beef reached USD 4,984.3/MT, up 18.5% y-o-y. The price rise was attributed to the severe drought in the country since 2021, which deteriorated pasture and forage conditions. This has been pushing calves into the feedlots faster than the previous year, leading to an increase in the rate of fed cattle slaughter at lower carcass weight. The Mintec price for US chicken rose 58.8% y-o-y to USD 3,602.9/MT due to high feed and energy prices, thus further supporting the US meat index.
The Mintec MCI for US meat is expected to persistently move upwards with high beef and chicken prices outweighing the downward movement of US pork prices.