TDA Market Report
AUSTIN -- For the week ending July 12, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly steady to $10 higher per hundredweight (cwt) early in the week. Later, following a drop in futures markets and fed cattle, prices were mostly steady to $4 lower. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were steady to $4 higher. Fed cattle cash prices were down $2.50 from the previous week’s record high. Wholesale beef values were $4 higher per cwt to reach new record highs. Reduced cattle supplies and strong demand continue to support prices throughout the cattle sector.
Cotton prices were lower amid expectations for larger production this year. Last week, 55 percent of the U.S. crop was rated in good to excellent condition, compared to 49 percent on average and 44 percent at this time last year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projections released on Friday showed higher than expected production and ending stocks. Sales of new-crop 2014-15 cotton were more than three times higher than both the previous week and the average.
Wheat prices were lower as increasing harvest-time supplies, large global inventories and weak demand continue to pressure the market. The latest USDA forecast shows 2014 all wheat production at 1.99 billion bushels, down one percent from last month and 11 percent lower than last year, but still on the high side of pre-report expectations. Texas winter wheat production is expected to total 55 million bushels, down 16 percent from a year ago.
Corn and grain sorghum prices were lower as the best corn condition ratings since 1999 maintained expectations for a large 2014 crop. In its monthly update, USDA lowered corn harvested acres and left yield unchanged. The resulting lower corn production was more than offset by lower feed usage and higher carry-in stocks, resulting in higher projected ending stocks. For grain sorghum, USDA increased projected harvested acres, feed use and exports, resulting in higher carry-over stocks. Corn old-crop export sales were up 25 percent from the previous week and 36 percent higher than the prior four-week average. New-crop sales were down 20 percent from a week earlier, but 71 percent higher than the average. Exports were up 33 percent from the previous week and up 15 percent from the average.
Parts of East and South Texas, the Panhandle, and Trans-Pecos recorded one half inch or more of rain during the week. Scattered showers elsewhere in the state generally produced lesser amounts of rainfall. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed another small change in overall conditions in Texas, with 88 percent of the state rated in some degree of drought or abnormal dryness, up slightly from 87 percent a week ago. The areas in each drought category also remained near unchanged, as did the drought-free areas in East and Southwest Texas. Nationally, the portion of the country experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought also increased by 1 percentage point to 45 percent of the contiguous states.
Texas Cash Markets for the week ending July 12:
•Feeder steers, $209.02/cwt
•Fed cattle, $155.34/cwt
•Slaughter lambs, $161/cwt
•Slaughter goats, $206/cwt
•Grain sorghum, $6.88/cwt
•Feeder cattle, $210.37/cwt
•Fed cattle, $149.12/cwt
•Lumber, $336.70/1000 bd ft.
All cash prices above are market averages for locations covered by the USDA’s 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.