TDA Market Report
AUSTIN -- For the week ending May 24, feeder cattle prices reported by Texas auctions were steady to $10 higher per hundredweight (cwt). Auctions in some areas noted higher volumes of cows and bulls as ranchers reduced stocking rates in response to very dry conditions. Texas direct feeder cattle prices were mostly $3 to $7 higher, with a few as much as $9 higher. Tight supplies and strong demand continue to support the feeder cattle market. Fed cattle cash prices were $1 lower. Wholesale beef values were higher.
Cotton prices were lower because of rain on the Texas High Plains, good planting progress elsewhere in the Cotton Belt, and ongoing concerns about large world supplies, especially in China.
Wheat prices were lower as large world supplies and lackluster U.S. exports continue to burden the market. Additionally, prospects for rain on the Southern Plains were a factor, but it will likely be too late to help much of the acreage.
Corn and grain sorghum prices also were lower due to mixed export data, ample current supplies, and improving prospects for a large corn crop this year. The same rains that continue to cause planting delays in parts of the Corn Belt also are benefiting crop development.
Almost the entire state received rainfall last week. Some of the driest areas west of I-35 recorded 2-6 inches of rain, with some locally-heavy totals more than 10 inches. Parts of South, Central, and East Texas also had 2 or more inches of rain.
Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor, released before the rains, showed 90 percent of the state rated as abnormally dry or in some degree of drought, down one percentage point from a week ago. However, the area in the worst category, exceptional drought, increased by five points to 25 percent. Much of the state west of I-35 is now in extreme and exceptional drought, the two most severe categories.
Nationally, conditions improved somewhat with 48 percent the contiguous states reported in some degree of abnormal dryness or drought, down 1 percentage point from a week ago.
Texas Cash Markets for the week ending May 24:
•Feeder steers, $189.71/cwt
•Fed cattle, $143.61/cwt
•Slaughter lambs, $152.50/cwt
•Slaughter goats, $202.50/cwt
•Grain sorghum, $8.30/cwt
•Cabbage, $9.00/50 lbs
•Onions, $9.50/40 lbs.
•Feeder cattle, $192.85/cwt
•Fed cattle, $136.30/cwt
•Lumber, $317.30/1000 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.