Source: Texas Department of Agriculture
For the week ending Aug. 2, 2014, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly steady to $10 higher per hundredweight (cwt), with the largest increases noted early in the week, and mostly steady prices by Friday and Saturday. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were $4 to $7 higher. Fed cattle cash prices were near-unchanged at $162 per cwt. Wholesale beef values posted new record highs for the week, up $4 to $6 per cwt. Tight supplies and strong demand continue to support prices across the cattle sector. Beef export sales for the week were up 60 percent from both the previous week and the prior four-week average. Export shipments were down one percent from the previous week, but up four percent from the average.
Cotton prices were lower as prospects for large crops this year in the U.S. and India continue to pressure the market. Last week’s USDA NASS Crop Progress report showed another improvement in U.S. cotton condition, with 54 percent of the crop now rated good to excellent, up two points from last week and nine points higher than a year ago. Crop development is running slightly behind the five-year average. In Texas, cotton crop ratings also are better than a year ago, while crop development is a little slower than normal. Export data was somewhat supportive. Cotton export sales for the old-crop 2013-14 marketing year were much better than last week’s negative sales, but smaller than the prior four-week average. New-crop sales for the 2014-15 marketing year were down 32 percent from a week earlier, but up four percent from the average. Shipments were up 64 percent from the previous week, three percent higher than the average and higher than the weekly average needed to meet USDA projections for the marketing year.
Wheat prices were higher due to quality issues with the European crop, dry weather in Australia, ongoing political turmoil in the Black Sea region and a large U.S. wheat sale to Nigeria. USDA NASS reported the U.S. winter wheat harvest is 83 percent complete. Spring wheat is 93 percent headed and rated in mostly good to fair conditions. Texas winter wheat harvest has been completed. Wheat export sales were up 81 percent from the previous week and 92 percent higher than the prior four-week average. Shipments were down 24 percent from a week earlier and down one percent from the average.
Corn and grain sorghum prices were lower as prospects for large U.S. crops continued to pressure the market. There were concerns about dry spots in the Corn Belt, but not enough to turn prices around. USDA NASS reported that 75 percent of the U.S. corn crop remains in good to excellent condition, down one point from a week ago. Crop development is slightly ahead of last year’s pace. Grain sorghum was 47 percent headed and in mostly good to fair condition nationwide.
In Texas, 38 percent of the corn crop is mature, and farmers are preparing for harvest in the Southeast and South Central regions of the state. The crop is rated in mostly good to fair condition. The Texas grain sorghum harvest is 33 percent complete with the remaining crop also in mostly good to fair condition. Export data was disappointing. Corn old-crop export sales were down 40 percent from the previous week and 54 percent below the prior four-week average. New-crop sales were down four percent from last week, but up 75 percent from the average. Exports were down 13 percent from a week earlier and 14 percent below the average. Unless volumes pick up, it may be difficult to reach the USDA projections for the marketing year that ends Aug. 31.
Most of the state recorded rainfall during the week, with the heaviest totals in the eastern Panhandle, Trans-Pecos, Coastal Bend, North and East Texas. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed very little change in conditions in Texas, with 83 percent of the state rated in some degree of drought or abnormal dryness, up one percentage point from a week ago. The drought map looks like a copy of last week’s with very small changes in the percentages of the state in each drought category. Parts of East and Southwest Texas and the Trans-Pecos remained drought-free. Nationally, the total area experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought increased two points 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:||Aug. 4, 2014||Week||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.