TDA Market Report
AUSTIN -- For the week ending May 10, feeder cattle prices reported by Texas auctions were mostly steady to $5 higher per hundredweight (cwt), though a few locations were as much as $4 lower on a portion of their offerings. Texas direct feeder cattle prices were $1 to $7 higher. Tight supplies and strong demand continue to support the feeder cattle market. Fed cattle cash prices were steady. Wholesale beef values were lower.
Cotton prices were lower for the week. Concerns about the very dry conditions on the Texas Plains and planting delays in the Southeast remain supportive.
Wheat prices were lower following a mixed set of production, export and supply, and demand data. U.S. wheat production is expected to decline 12 percent from last year. Texas production is expected to total 55.1 million bushels, down 16 percent and the lowest since 2011.
Corn and grain sorghum prices were higher amid concerns about slow corn planting progress. Other data was less supportive. Corn export sales for the 2013-14 crop year were 161,300 MT, down 83 percent from the previous week and 77 percent lower than the prior four-week average. Sales for the 2014-15 crop year totaled 121,000 MT. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projected U.S. ending corn stocks for the 2013-14 marketing year came in lower than a month ago and well below pre-report expectations.
Much of the state recorded rainfall last week with totals of two or more inches in parts of South, East, and West Texas. However, little rain fell on the parched Texas High Plains. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed a further deterioration in conditions in Texas, with 95 percent of the state now rated as abnormally dry or in some degree of drought, up from 90 percent a week ago. The severity of conditions also worsened with higher percentages of the state in the severe, extreme, and exceptional categories and smaller percentages rated abnormally dry or in moderate drought. Areas west of I-35 are in the worst shape, though drought is increasing to the east with the drought-free areas in East and South Texas and the normally-arid Trans Pecos region growing smaller.
Nationally, conditions declined modestly, with 51 percent the contiguous states reported in some degree of abnormal dryness or drought, up 2 percentage points from a week ago.
Texas Cash Markets for the week ending May 10:
•Feeder steers, $179.49/cwt
•Fed cattle, $146/cwt
•Slaughter lambs, $149/cwt
•Slaughter goats, $214/cwt
•Grain sorghum, $8.95/cwt
•Cabbage, $10.00/50 lbs
•Onions, $11.00/40 lbs.
•Feeder cattle, $184.57/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.