Source: Texas Department of Agriculture
For the week ending Aug. 23, 2014, feeder cattle prices quoted by Texas auctions were mostly steady to $6 lower per hundredweight (cwt), though a few locations had prices steady to $5 higher. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were steady to $5 higher. Fed cattle cash prices were $2.60 lower per cwt. Wholesale beef values were lower. Cattle prices have declined amid ongoing concerns about lower demand. However, prices remain at historically-high levels as smaller supplies continue to support the market. Fed cattle are still higher than they were at any time before late June. Beef export sales for the week were down 23 percent from the previous week and 41 percent below the prior four-week average. Export shipments were down four percent from the previous week and seven percent lower than the average.
Cotton prices were higher due to a dip in crop condition ratings and renewed buying interest at recently-lower prices. USDA NASS reported that 50 percent of the U.S. cotton crop was rated in good to excellent condition, down two points from last week, but still better than a year ago. Significantly, only 16 percent of the crop is rated poor to very poor, with much of that here in Texas and in Georgia. Export data was neutral, with sales running ahead of last year’s pace, but shipments lagging behind. Cotton export sales were down 12 percent from the previous week. Cumulative sales for the marketing year have reached 46 percent of the USDA projected total for the marketing year. Exports were up 12 percent from a week ago.
Wheat prices were slightly lower for the week as ample world supplies and weak demand continue to pressure the market. However, harvest delays in the U.S. and quality concerns in Europe limited the losses. Texas growers are making preparations to seed this fall’s winter wheat crop. Export data was neutral, with lower sales and higher shipments. Wheat export sales were down 38 percent from the previous week and 62 percent lower than the prior four-week average. Exports were up six percent from a week earlier and 13 percent higher than the average.
Corn prices were higher, but grain sorghum was lower as recent price declines boosted buying interest for corn and not so much for grain sorghum. USDA NASS reported that the U.S. corn crop was in 72 percent good to excellent condition, down one point from last week as expected. However, that is better than the 61 percent at this time last year. In Texas, corn harvest is 32 percent complete, well behind the normal 47 percent. Corn was rated in mostly good to fair condition. Texas grain sorghum harvest is 53 percent complete statewide, slightly better than the average. Export data was mixed, with weak sales and stronger shipments. Corn old-crop export sales for the 2013-2014 marketing were up significantly from last week’s net cancellations, but down 15 percent from the prior four-week average. New-crop sales were down nine percent from a week earlier and 24 percent lower than the average. Exports were up 59 percent from the previous week and 25 percent higher than the average.
Parts of southeast Texas, the Edwards Plateau and High Plains received one half inch or more of rainfall last week, while other areas saw little or no rain. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed a modest improvement in conditions in Texas with 81 percent of the state now in some degree of drought or abnormal dryness, down two points from a week ago. By drought category, the areas rated abnormally dry and in severe drought declined, while the areas in moderate and extreme drought increased. The area in exceptional drought remained near unchanged. Drought-free areas in East and Southwest Texas were stable, but the area in West Texas expanded northeastward. Nationally, the areas experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought increased by one point to 48 percent of the contiguous states.
Additional information on agricultural weather, crop progress and agricultural markets can be found on the TDA Market News page.
|Texas Cash Markets:||Week Ending Aug. 23, 2014||Previous Week||Pevious Year|
MBF = thousand board feet
All cash prices above are market averages for locations covered by the USDA Market News program and do not reflect any particular sale at any specific location. Feeder cattle prices are for Texas direct sales of 650-850 pound medium and large No.1 steers for current delivery. Futures prices are quoted for the nearest month contract on the last trading day of the week. Timber prices are from the Texas A&M Forest Service, bimonthly “Texas Timber Price Trends.”
For additional information, contact TDA at 800-835-5832 or visit www.TexasAgriculture.gov.