TDA Market Report
AUSTIN -- For the week ending May 17, feeder cattle prices reported by Texas auctions were mostly steady to $6 higher per hundredweight (cwt), with a few locations as much as $8 higher on a portion of their offerings. Texas direct feeder cattle prices were steady to $3 higher. Lower supplies and strong demand continue to support the feeder cattle market. Fed cattle cash prices were $1.35 lower. Wholesale beef values were higher.
Cotton prices were lower due to weak export sales and higher projected United States and world carryover supplies at the end of the marketing year. Lower stock markets also were a factor. There are ongoing concerns about the very dry conditions on the Texas Plains, but that impact may be mostly priced into the market, at least for now.
Most of the state south and east of a line from Del Rio to Wichita Falls recorded rainfall last week. Totals of 2 or more inches were common, with scattered locations receiving 6 or more inches. However, very little rain fell in the driest areas on the Texas High Plains. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor, issued before the rain, showed a very modest improvement in conditions in Texas, with 91 percent of the state now rated as abnormally dry or in some degree of drought, down from 95 percent a week ago. The area in the worst category, exceptional drought, declined by about a half a percentage point, and the area in extreme drought fell by nearly six points. Areas west of I-35 remain in the worst shape.
Nationally, conditions also improved somewhat with 49 percent the contiguous states reported in some degree of abnormal dryness or drought, down 2 percentage points from a week ago.
Texas Cash Markets for the week ending May 17:
•Feeder steers, $179.35/cwt
•Fed cattle, $144.65/cwt
•Slaughter lambs, $152.50/cwt
•Slaughter goats, $215/cwt
•Grain sorghum, $8.49/cwt
•Cabbage, $9.00/50 lbs
•Onions, $11.00/40 lbs
•Feeder cattle, $187.30/cwt
•Fed cattle, $137.90/cwt
•Lumber, $324.20/1000 bd ft.
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.