TDA Market Recap
AUSTIN -- For the week ending Feb. 22, Texas feeder cattle auctions reported prices mostly steady to $5 higher per hundredweight (cwt), with a few as much as $10 higher on a portion of their offerings. However, a few lower prices also were noted. Texas direct feeder cattle prices were $2 to $4 higher. Reports noted that competition is picking up for stocker-type cattle that are ready to turn out on pasture. Fed cattle cash prices were $2.50 higher. Wholesale beef values also were higher. Prices across the cattle sector remain strong as tight supplies and strong demand continue to support the market.
Cotton cash prices ended the week unchanged, but futures prices were modestly lower. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its initial projections for the 2014-15 marketing year, showing higher United States and world production and higher projected carryover stocks.
Corn and grain sorghum prices were higher for the week in spite of mostly bearish news. Current corn supplies remain ample and USDA’s initial projections for the next marketing year showed higher corn production, higher carryover stocks and lower prices.
Wheat prices were higher due to ongoing concerns about possible winter freeze damage and political unrest in Ukraine, a major competitor for wheat exports.
Little rain fell anywhere in the state last week, with totals of one-half inch or more limited to scattered locations in East Texas. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed little change in overall conditions in Texas, with the area of the state rated as abnormally dry or in drought holding steady at 88 percent. The areas rated in severe and extreme drought increased, while percentages in other categories declined or remained unchanged. Parts of Northeast, South, and West Texas remained drought-free.
Nationally, 53 percent of the contiguous states were reported in some degree of abnormal dryness or drought, down two points from a week ago.
The seasonal drought outlook released last week indicates that drought will likely develop or intensify over much of the state west of a line from Beaumont to Wichita Falls. Conditions are expected to improve in North Texas and remain drought-free in much of East Texas.
Texas Cash Markets for the week ending Feb. 22:
•Feeder steers, $166.33/cwt
•Fed cattle, $144.69/cwt
•Slaughter lambs, $198/cwt
•Slaughter goats, $246/cwt
•Grain sorghum, $7.96/cwt
•Cabbage, $10.00/50 lbs
•Feeder cattle, $170.70/cwt
•Fed cattle, $144.55/cwt
All cash prices above are market averages for locations covered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture 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 the Texas Department of Agriculture at 800-835-5832 or visit www.TexasAgriculture.gov.