AUSTIN – (Dec. 15, 2014) For the week ending Dec. 13, 2014, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices unevenly steady from $7 lower to $5 higher per hundredweight (cwt), with some locations reporting weak sales and some prices as much as $10 lower. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were weak to $3 lower. Fed cattle cash sales were significantly lower from two weeks ago, with some down $9 to end at $164 per cwt. Texas formula trades were almost $2 lower. Wholesale beef values were sharply lower. Weekly export sales were up 31 percent from last week, but down two percent from the prior weeks’ averages. Export shipments were up 24 percent from the previous week and 14 percent higher than average.
Cotton cash prices were steady for the week, with futures closing slightly higher amid USDA’s supply-demand report estimating the supply of U.S. cotton crop to will fall about a half a million bales, most of that coming from lower forecasted production in Texas. However, there also were reports of record-setting world ending stocks. In its monthly Crop Production report issued last Wednesday, USDA NASS reported that U.S. cotton production is expected to total 15.9 million bales in 2014, down three percent from last month, but up 23 percent from a year ago. Export cotton sales were 19 percent higher from last week, but down one percent from the prior four-week average. Shipments were a marketing-year high, about 81 percent higher than last week and more than double from the weekly average.
Wheat cash prices were higher due to concerns about economic and weather uncertainty in Russia and less possible rain in the U.S. Plains. Saudi Arabia also announced they would no longer be growing wheat. Projected U.S. wheat ending stocks totaled 654 million bushels, up one and a half percent from last month, which is 11 percent higher than a year ago and equal to pre-report expectations. World ending stocks increased, with world production still expected to be a record-high 722 million metric tons. Net export sales for wheat were up 39 percent from last week and 16 percent from the prior four-week average. Shipments were down 26 percent from the previous week and nine percent from the weekly average.
Corn and grain sorghum prices were higher, with projected U.S. corn ending stocks coming in lower than expected at 1.998 billion bushels. This is down less than one percent from last month, but 62 percent higher than a year ago and more than double the 2012-13 total. World projected ending stocks were higher than last month’s forecast. Corn export sales were down 18 percent from the previous week, but nine percent higher from the four-week average. Export shipments were nine percent lower than last week, but up 15 percent from the average.
Much of the state recorded precipitation during the week, but only northeast Texas recorded totals of one-half inch or more.Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed conditions in Texas near unchanged, with more than 66 percent of the state in some degree of drought or abnormal dryness. Twenty-three percent of the state remains in severe, extreme or exceptional drought, slightly higher from last week. Nationally, 49 percent of the country is experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought, up less than one percentage point from a week ago.
Additional information on agricultural weather, crop progress and agricultural markets can be found on the TDA Market Newspage.
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All cash prices above are market averages for locations covered by the USDA 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.” MBF = thousand board feet. For additional information, contact TDA at (800) 835-5832 or visit our website, www.TexasAgriculture.gov.