TDA Market Report
AUSTIN -- For the week ending May 3, feeder cattle prices reported by Texas auctions were steady at many locations. However, a few noted weaker prices on a portion of their offerings, most often lighter-weight feeders, and some reported prices as much as $8 higher per hundredweight (cwt). Texas direct feeder cattle prices were steady to $2 higher early in the week and as much as $5 higher later in the week. Tight supplies and strong demand continue to support the feeder cattle market. Fed cattle cash prices were $0.73 higher per cwt. Wholesale beef values were lower. Cumulative cattle slaughter year-to-date is running 6.1 percent behind a year ago.
Cotton prices were higher for the week due to concerns about the very dry conditions on the Texas Plains, lack of irrigation water in the West and planting delays in the Southeast.
Wheat prices were higher amid ongoing concerns about dry conditions in U.S. winter wheat areas, earlier freeze damage, and planting delays in spring wheat regions.
Little rain fell anywhere in the state last week, with totals of less than one-half inch limited to scattered areas in East Texas and along the Coastal Bend. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed a continued decline in overall conditions in Texas, with 90 percent of the state now rated as abnormally dry or in some degree of drought, compared to 86 percent a week ago. The area rated in exceptional drought increased by more than five points, and some areas slid from abnormally dry to moderate drought. Areas west of I-35 are in the worst shape, though much of the normally-arid Trans Pecos region remains drought-free. Meanwhile, the drought-free areas in East and South Texas grew smaller.
Nationally, conditions improved slightly, with 49 percent the contiguous states reported in some degree of abnormal dryness or drought, down 1percentage point from a week ago.
Texas Cash Markets for the week ending May 5:
•Feeder steers, $175.59/cwt
•Fed cattle, $145.88/cwt
•Slaughter lambs, $169/cwt
•Slaughter goats, $229/cwt
•Grain sorghum, $8.73/cwt
•Cabbage, $9.70/50 lbs
•Onions, $12.00/40 lbs.
•Feeder cattle, $183.50/cwt
•Fed cattle, $138.05/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.