Source: Texas Department of Agriculture Market News
For the week ending Oct. 18, 2014, feeder cattle prices quoted by Texas auctions were mostly steady to $8 higher per hundredweight (cwt) early in the week, but mostly steady to $5 lower at week’s end. Sharply lower feeder cattle futures pulled cash markets lower in spite of continued strong demand from feedlots and from ranchers needing cattle to turn out on fall and winter pastures. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were mostly $2 to $8 lower, though a few sold at steady prices early in the week. Fed cattle cash sales were steady. Wholesale beef values were higher. Limited supplies continue to support prices throughout the cattle-beef complex, but lower stock markets raised concerns about beef demand. Beef export sales for the week were down 43 percent from the previous week and 41 percent lower than the prior four-week average. Export shipments were up three percent from both the previous week and the average.
Cotton prices were lower after both India and Pakistan increased their production estimates, with India now expecting a record-large crop. Falling stock markets also raised concerns about fiber demand, while lower crude oil prices signaled stronger competition from lower-prices synthetics. However, declines were limited by concerns about damage from cool, wet weather in much of the Cotton Belt and tight supplies of high-quality fiber. USDA NASS reported that the U.S. cotton crop was 22 percent harvested, slightly behind the five-year average, with 47 percent of the remaining acreage rated in good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week. (Comparisons to last year are not available because of last year’s federal government shutdown.) In Texas, 20 percent of the cotton crop has been harvested, only one point behind the average, with 33 percent of the acreage rated good to excellent, one point better than a week ago. Cotton export sales were down 90 percent from the previous week and down 95 percent from the prior four-week average. Exports of 65,900 bales were the lowest of the marketing year, down 19 percent from the previous week and 25 percent below the average.
Wheat prices were higher due to planting delays in the parts of the Midwest and dry conditions in Australia. U.S. winter wheat seedings were 68 percent complete, one point ahead of normal. The Texas crop is 63 percent planted, compared to 60 percent on average by this date. USDA has not yet started reporting wheat condition. Wheat export sales were up 22 percent from the previous week and unchanged from the prior four-week average. Export shipments were down 27 percent from a week earlier and 21 percent below the average.
Corn and grain sorghum prices were higher due to harvest delays in parts of the Corn Belt and supportive export data. However, conditions still favor a record-large corn crop, though it might not be quite as large as earlier forecasts. Last week, the U.S. corn harvest progressed to 24 percent complete, well behind the normal 43 percent. However, 87 percent of the crop is now rated mature, only slightly behind the 89 percent average. Additionally, 74 percent of the remaining acreage is rated in good to excellent condition, unchanged from a week ago. The Texas corn crop is 70 percent harvested compared to 82 percent on average by this date. The crop is rated in 67 percent good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week. For grain sorghum, 41 percent of the U.S. crop and 74 percent of the Texas acreage has been harvested. Corn export sales were the highest of the marketing year, more than double both the previous week and prior four-week average, as well as being the highest weekly total in more than four years. Export shipments were down eight percent from the previous week, but seven percent higher than the average.
Much of the state north and east of a line from Houston to Big Spring to Wichita Falls recorded one half inch or more of rain during the week, with the heaviest totals in East Texas and along the coast south of Corpus Christi. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed another modest improvement in conditions in Texas with 69 percent of the state now in some degree of drought or abnormal dryness, down one percentage point from a week ago and the lowest since late November 2010. Thirty-seven percent of the nation is rated as abnormally dry or in some degree of drought, down two points from last week.
Additional information on agricultural weather, crop progress and agricultural markets can be found on the TDA Market News page.
|Texas Cash Markets:||Oct. 20, 2014||Week||Year|
|Pine Saw Logs||$/MBF||223.01||204.81||188.22|
*Data not available due to the Federal government shutdown in October 2013.
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.