Source: Texas Department of Agriculture
For the week ending Aug. 30, 2014, feeder cattle prices quoted by Texas auctions were mixed, from $8 lower to $5 higher per hundredweight (cwt). Texas direct feeder cattle sales were steady to $4 higher. Fed cattle cash prices were $3 higher. Wholesale beef values were lower. Cattle prices recovered somewhat last week, but remained under pressure from the lower beef values. The limited cattle supplies and continued strong demand should continue to support markets over the longer term. Beef export sales for the week were up 47 percent from the previous week, but down seven percent from the prior four-week average. Exports were up four percent from the previous week, but down two percent from the average.
Cotton prices were modestly higher due dry conditions here in Texas and continued strong demand for high-quality U.S. fiber. China announced a support price nearly double current world prices and expects its production to come in higher than current USDA projections. However, the country also is the world’s largest cotton importer, as its farmers cannot produce sufficient volumes of the higher quality cotton it needs.
USDA NASS reported that the percentage of the crop rated in good to excellent condition increased by one point to 51 percent of the national acreage. The area rated poor to very poor held steady at only 16 percent of the acreage. In Texas, 36 percent of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition, also up a point from last week, and another 40 percent of the acreage is rated fair. Harvest is underway in southern locations and six percent complete overall. Export data was supportive. Cotton export sales were up 59 percent from the previous week. Shipments were down eight percent from a week earlier and 17 percent below the average. Export commitments, which include outstanding sales plus shipments, reached 48 percent of the USDA export forecast, compared to 37 percent at this time last year.
Wheat prices were lower as ample world supplies and soft demand continue to pressure the market. However, concerns about the quality of U.S. and European spring wheat and ongoing tensions in Ukraine limited the decline. Texas growers are making preparations to seed this fall’s winter wheat crop. Export data was neutral, with good sales, but slow shipments. Wheat export sales were up 94 percent from the previous week, but down 17 percent from the prior four-week average. Shipments were down 12 percent from the previous week, but unchanged from the average.
Corn and grain sorghum prices were lower as conditions continue to favor a record-large corn crop. USDA NASS reported that the percentage of the U.S. corn crop rated in good to excellent condition increased by one point to 73 percent, and only seven percent of the acreage is rated poor to very poor. The crop is progressing well, with 83 percent in dough stage, compared to 78 percent on average, and 35 percent is in dent stage, lower than the normal 43 percent. In Texas, 65 percent of the corn acreage is rated good to excellent, unchanged from a week ago. Corn harvest is 46 percent complete, somewhat behind the 52 percent average. Grain sorghum is 61 percent harvested, and the remaining crop is reported in mostly good to fair condition. Export data was bearish. Corn export sales for the current 2013-2014 marketing year were a net negative as cancellations outweighed new purchases. Sales for the upcoming 2014-2015 marketing year were down three percent from last week and 17 percent below the prior four-week average. Export shipments were down 10 percent from the previous week, but up six percent from the average.
Most of the state recorded rainfall last week with two inches or more falling along the Gulf Coast and in scattered locations in the Panhandle and Northwest Texas. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed a modest deterioration in conditions in Texas with 83 percent of the state now rated in some degree of drought or abnormal dryness, up two points from a week ago. By drought category, the areas rated in severe and extreme drought expanded, the percentage in moderate drought declined, and the abnormally dry and exceptional drought areas remained near unchanged. The drought-free area in East Texas got smaller. Nationally, the total acreage experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought held steady at 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. 30, 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.