American beef supplies continue exerting influence over the home beef market, despite most imports coming from within the EU. Notwithstanding the continuing decline in US breeding cow numbers, the figure for cattle on feed at the beginning of this month was 10% higher than a year ago and new placements during January were up 15%. The increase might be welcome evidence of "demand pull", but the extra tonnage may cause a softening in world prices if the economy slows. {{MEAT }}