AUSTIN – (Dec. 1, 2014) For the week ending Nov. 29, 2014, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices from $12 higher to $4 lower with only a few locations reporting. Most auctions were closed for the week in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were mostly steady. Fed cattle cash sales were $1 higher in very light confirmed trade. Wholesale beef values were higher. Beef export sales for the week were down 16 percent from the previous week and six percent below the prior four-week average. Export shipments were down five percent from a week earlier and six percent lower than the average.
Cotton prices were higher. USDA NASS reported that the U.S. cotton harvest was 77 percent complete, which is in line with last year, but six points below the five-year average. In Texas, only 57 percent of the crop has been harvested, well behind the 70 percent at this time last year and 79 percent on average. The remaining crop was rated in mostly fair to good condition. Cotton export sales were the highest so far this marketing year, up 78 percent from the previous week and more than double the prior four-week average. Export shipments also recorded a marketing year high, up 72 percent from a week ago and 50 percent higher than the average.
Wheat cash prices were unchanged, but futures markets were higher. Texas winter wheat seedings were 92 percent complete, slightly behind both last year and the average. Wheat export sales were up 19 percent from the previous week and up 16 percent from the prior four-week average. Exports were nearly three times higher than a week earlier and more than double the average.
Corn and grain sorghum prices were higher as this year’s harvest continues to wind down. USDA reported that the U.S. corn harvest was 94 percent complete, equal to a year ago and two points above the average. Texas corn was 98 percent harvested, which is the same as this time last year and just below the 99 percent on average. U.S. grain sorghum was 88 percent harvested, which is less than both last year and the average. The Texas crop was 84 percent harvested, compared to 98 percent a year ago and 91 percent on average for this date. Corn export sales were up four percent from the previous week and 59 percent higher than the average. Export shipments were up 59 percent from a week earlier and nine percent above the prior four-week average.
Very little precipitation was recorded anywhere in the state last week with only a few very light and widely scattered showers, mostly in North-Central and Southeast Texas. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor showed a modest improvement in conditions, with 66 percent of the state rated in some degree of drought or abnormal dryness, down three percentage points from a week ago. Twenty-two percent of the state remains in severe, extreme or exceptional drought, down two points from last week. Nationally, 47 percent of the country is experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought, unchanged from a week ago.
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.