Source: Texas Department of Agriculture Market News
For the week ending Sept. 20, 2014, feeder cattle prices quoted by Texas auctions were $5 lower to $7 higher per hundredweight (cwt), with fleshy, unweaned calves posting the largest declines and preconditioned yearlings showing the most strength. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were steady to $4 higher, though some weakness was noted late in the week. Fed cattle prices were $2 lower. Wholesale beef values were lower. Cattle and beef markets softened somewhat last week, but remain at historically-high levels as limited supplies continue to support the market. Beef export sales for the week were up 12 percent from the previous week and 49 percent higher than the prior four-week average. Export shipments were up 29 percent from a week earlier and 15 percent above the average.
Cotton prices were lower mostly due to continued pressure from large world supplies, lackluster export sales and uncertainty about Chinese cotton policies. On the other hand, there were concerns about damaging weather in parts of Texas and dryness in Australia. China said it would allow its domestic cotton prices to fluctuate with world prices, but has yet to disclose many other aspects of its support programs. USDA NASS reported that the national cotton crop was in 49 percent good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week and six points better than at this time last year. Maybe more important for crop output, only 18 percent is rated poor to very poor, compared to 24 percent a year ago. Six percent of the U.S. crop is harvested, compared to seven percent on average by this date. In Texas, 34 percent of the crop was rated good to excellent, down a point from last week. Fifteen percent of the acreage has been harvested, somewhat ahead of the 12 percent average. Reports noted that harvest was mostly finished in the Lower Valley and ginning is expanding in Central Texas. Cotton export sales rebounded from the previous week’s cancellations, but were down 35 percent from the prior four-week average. Export shipments were up 25 percent from the previous week and seven percent higher than the average.
Wheat prices were lower as large world supplies and beneficial rains on the U.S. Southern Plains continued to pressure the market. Nationally, 12 percent of the U.S. winter wheat crop has been planted, compared to 11 percent on average by this date. In Texas, only eight percent of the acreage has been seeded, down from 15 percent last year and 12 percent on average Wheat export sales were down 54 percent from the previous week and 15 percent below the prior four-week average. Export shipments were a high for the marketing year, up 38 percent from the previous week and 34 percent higher than the average.
Corn and grain sorghum prices were lower due to ongoing expectations for a record-large corn crop. USDA NASS reported that the U.S. corn crop was in 74 percent good to excellent condition, unchanged from a week ago. The percentage of the crop rated poor to very poor also held at seven percent. Only 27 percent of the corn acreage was mature, down from the normal 39 percent, which might stoke fears that an early frost could hurt a late-maturing crop. In Texas, 59 percent of the corn crop and 66 percent of the grain sorghum acres have been harvested. The remaining corn crop was rated in 67 percent good to excellent condition and only six percent poor to very poor. Grain sorghum was 58 percent good to excellent. Corn export sales were down 65 percent from the previous week and export shipments were down four percent.
Rain fell statewide during the week with the heaviest totals on the Southern High Plains, in the Trans-Pecos, and in Southeast and Central Texas. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed an improvement in conditions in Texas with 82 percent of the state now in some degree of drought or abnormal dryness, down four points from a week ago.
Additional information on agricultural weather, crop progress and agricultural markets can be found on the TDA Market News page.
|Texas Cash Markets:||Sept. 20, 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.