AUSTIN – (April 13, 2015) For the week ending April 11, 2015, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly steady, ranging from $2 to $4 higher per hundredweight (cwt). Texas weekly direct feeder cattle sales were mostly steady to $3 higher. Fed cattle weekly cash sales were $2 higher at $167 per cwt. Wholesale beef values were higher with Choice Grade gaining 94 cents to close at $256.51 per cwt, but Select Grade lost 1 cent to close at $249.91 per cwt. Net export sales for March 27-April 2 were up noticeably from the previous week. Export shipments were up two percent from the previous week.
Cotton cash prices were 1.25 cents higher than the previous week, closing at 62.13 cents per pound. May futures prices rose 1.37 cents last week to settle at 65.06 cents per pound. For the reporting period of March 30-April 5, the USDA NASS Texas field office noted that one percent of cotton acreage in Texas had been planted, down eight percentage points from this time last year. Net export cotton sales were 25 percent lower than the previous week’s sales. Shipments were up 33 percent from the previous week and 42 percent from the average, which is a marketing-year high.
Wheat cash prices gained 9 cents to close at $5.22 per bushel. Conversely, wheat futures fell 24 cents to settle at $5.59 per bushel. The USDA NASS Texas field office reported that seven percent of Texas wheat was in the heading stage. Eighty-nine percent of the Texas Winter Wheat crop remains in fair-to-excellent condition. Fifty-four percent of the wheat crop is in excellent or good condition. Net export sales for wheat were up 97 percent from the previous week and 16 percent from the prior four-week average. Shipments were 11 percent higher than the previous week and 16 percent higher than the average.
Texas corn prices were lower with cash prices down to $4 per bushel and futures prices falling to $3.77 per bushel. The USDA NASS Texas field office reported that 37 percent of Texas corn acreage had been planted, up 17 percentage points from the previous week but down 13 percentage points from the same period last year. Eight percent of the Texas corn crop has emerged. Corn export sales were down 13 percent from the prior week and 29 percent from the four-week average. Export shipments were 54 percent higher than last week and four percent higher than the average.
Warm and windy weather was reported throughout Texas, with eight inches of rainfall in areas of South Texas. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor for Texas showed a slight improvement in drought conditions for the state, with nearly 49 percent of the state still in some stage of drought intensity, down slightly from last week. Additionally, more than 25 percent of the state remains in severe, extreme or exceptional drought, which is down from last week but up from three months ago. On the national level, drought conditions worsened, with nearly 60 percent of the U.S. experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought.
Additional information on agricultural weather, crop progress and agricultural markets can be found on the TDA Market News page.
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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.