TDA Market Recap
AUSTIN -- For the week ending March 29, feeder cattle prices reported by Texas auctions were mostly steady to $5 higher per hundredweight (cwt) compared to their previous sale. Some locations were as much as $10 higher, but a few were $3 lower on a portion of their offerings. Texas direct feeder cattle prices were $1 to $5 higher. Tight supplies and strong demand continue to support the feeder cattle market, but prices also fluctuate depending on the types and condition of cattle being sold and specific buyer requirements at each particular sale on a particular day. Fed cattle cash prices were steady at $150 per cwt. Wholesale beef values were lower.
Cotton prices ended a volatile week lower. On a more positive note for prices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reduced its estimates of cotton gins baled for this crop year. Dry conditions on the Texas High Plains and tight domestic supplies also remained supportive.
Wheat prices were modestly lower in spite of ongoing concerns about dry conditions in U.S. winter wheat areas and a decline in crop condition ratings. Corn and grain sorghum prices were higher in response to strong corn export data.
Much of the state recorded light precipitation last week, though totals of one-half inch or more were limited to parts of East, South, and South-Central Texas. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed overall conditions in Texas near unchanged, with the area of the state rated as abnormally dry or in drought holding steady at 85 percent. However, there was a major expansion of the two worst categories, as the area in extreme drought increased from 13 percent last week to 21 percent this week and areas in exception drought rose from 1 percent to 3 percent. Areas rated abnormally dry or in moderate to severe drought declined. Parts of West, South, and Southeast Texas remain drought-free. Nationally, 52 percent of the contiguous states were reported in some degree of abnormal dryness or drought, up one percent from a week ago.
Texas Cash Markets for the week ending March 29:
•Feeder steers, $173.36/cwt
•Fed cattle, $150.01/cwt
•Slaughter lambs, $168/cwt
•Slaughter goats, $248/cwt
•Grain sorghum, $8.79/cwt
•Cabbage, $6.50/50 lbs.
Futures markets: •Feeder cattle, $178.35/cwt
•Fed cattle, $146.50/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.