Source: Texas Department of Agriculture
For the week ending April 4, 2015, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly steady, ranging from $5 lower to $7 higher per hundredweight (cwt). Texas weekly direct feeder cattle sales were mostly were steady to $1 higher. Fed cattle weekly cash sales were $2 higher at $165 per cwt, and wholesale beef values were higher with Choice Grade gaining $3.87 to $255.57 per cwt and Select Grade rising $2.58 to $249.29. Net export sales for March 20-26 were down 60 percent from the previous week, a marketing-year low. Export shipments were down six percent from the previous week.
Vietnam has lifted age restrictions on beef from U.S. cattle and no longer will require certification through USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service export verification program. The action was seen as positive in terms of precedent for U.S. beef exporters.
Cotton cash prices were 1 cent higher than the previous week, closing at 60.88 cents per pound. May futures prices rose 1.17 cents last week to settle at 63.69 cents per pound. The USDA NASS Texas field office reported for the reporting period of March 23-29, that field preparations continued in many areas of the Edwards Plateau. Net export cotton sales were 66 percent lower than the previous week’s sales. Shipments were up 12 percent from the previous week and four percent from the average.
Wheat cash and futures prices lost $0.73 and $0.17, respectively to close at $5.06 per bushel and $5.53 per bushel, respectively. The USDA NASS Texas field office reported that wheat continued the heading stage in the Coastal Bend. Ninety-two percent of the Texas Winter Wheat crop remains in fair-to-excellent condition. Fifty-five percent of the wheat crop is in excellent or good condition. Net export sales for wheat were up 58 percent from last week, but down and 54 percent from the prior four-week average. Shipments were 32 percent lower than the previous week and 29 percent lower than the average.
Texas corn prices were higher with cash prices up to $4.26 per bushel and futures prices up to $3.91. The USDA NASS Texas field office reported that 20 percent of Texas corn acreage had been planted, up six percentage points from last week, but down seven percentage points from the same period last year. Three percent of the Texas corn crop has emerged. Corn export sales were down seven percent from last week and 26 percent from the four-week average. Export shipments were 36 percent lower than last week and 37 percent lower than the average.
Warm, humid weather was reported throughout Texas with minimal rainfall reported in most areas. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor for Texas showed a slight improvement in drought conditions for the state, with 49 percent of the state still in some stage of drought intensity, down about one percentage point from last week. Almost 26 percent of the state remains in severe, extreme, or exceptional drought, up about half of a percentage point from last week.
Additional information on agricultural weather, crop progress and agricultural markets can be found on the TDA Market News page.