AUSTIN – (Nov. 17, 2014) For the week ending Nov. 15, 2014, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices steady to as much as $20 higher per hundredweight (cwt), with light-weight offerings posting the largest gains. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were $1 to $4 higher. Fed cattle cash sales were nearly $3 higher for the week. Wholesale beef values were higher. Beef export sales for the week were up 16 percent from the previous week, but down 25 percent from the prior four-week average. Export shipments were down nine percent from a week earlier and 10 percent lower than the average. Cumulative exports are down 1.2 percent from this time last year.
Cotton prices were lower as large U.S. and global supplies continued to pressure the market. USDA NASS reported that the U.S. cotton harvest was 62 percent complete, ahead of last year’s 54 percent, but slightly behind the 64 percent average for this date. National cotton condition ratings have ended for the season. The Texas cotton harvest was 42 percent complete, well behind the normal 59 percent. The remaining crop was rated 38 percent good to excellent and 40 percent fair, unchanged from a week ago. Cotton export sales were higher than expected, more than twice as large as the previous week and 88 percent higher than the prior four-week average. Exports were up 36 percent from a week ago and 18 percent higher than the average.
Wheat prices were higher for the week. U.S. winter wheat seedings were 93 percent complete, equal to the average. Sixty percent of the acreage was rated in good to excellent condition, up one point from last week, but lower than the 65 percent good to excellent at this time a year ago. Texas winter wheat was 88 percent seeded, equal to last year and one point ahead of the average. Wheat export sales were up 57 percent from the previous week and 14 percent from the prior four-week average. Exports were more than double the previous week, but six percent lower than the average.
Corn and grain sorghum prices were higher after USDA unexpectedly reduced its 2014 corn production forecast. U.S. harvest progress advanced to 80 percent complete, only slightly behind the 82 percent last year and equal to the average. Texas corn was 90 percent harvested, compared to 97 percent on average. The U.S. grain sorghum harvest was 75 percent complete, compared to an average 80 percent for this date. Texas grain sorghum was 81 percent harvested, behind the 84 percent average. Corn export sales were up six percent from the previous week, but down 49 percent from the prior four-week average. Export shipments were 35 percent higher than a week earlier, but 16 percent below the average.
Much of the state recorded precipitation during the week, but totals of one-half inch or more were generally limited to the Gulf Coast and East Texas. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed an improvement in conditions in Texas with 70 percent of the state now in some degree of drought or abnormal dryness, down four percentage points from a week ago. Twenty-four percent of the state remains in severe, extreme or exceptional drought, also down four points from the previous week. Nationally, 47 percent of the country is experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought, up two points from last week.
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.