AUSTIN – (Jan. 20, 2015) For the week ending Jan. 17, 2015, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly steady to $5 higher early in the week, though auctions held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday reported prices $3 to $15 lower per hundredweight (cwt). Texas direct feeder cattle sales were $2 to $12 lower, noting a steady decline through the week because of the uncertainty in the futures markets. Fed cattle weekly cash sales were inactive most of the week, with some head quoted lower at $164 per cwt over the weekend. Wholesale beef values rose to a high of $263.81 per cwt for Choice Grade cut-out during the week, but still settled 1.4 percent higher than last week at $260.45 on Friday. Select Grade beef cut-out prices increased 1.1 percent. Weekly net export sales for Jan. 2-8 totaled 11,100 metric tons (MT), and export shipments of 12,600 MT went primarily to Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea. A trend will be reported next Friday once two solid weeks of January data is available for beef.
Cotton prices were volatile during the week, and futures prices settled 2.5 percent lower in comparison to last week. According to USDA, U.S. cotton production is expected to total 16.08 million bales for 2014-2015, up one percent from last month’s estimate and 25 percent from last year’s production. Export cotton sales were at a marketing-year high, almost three times higher than last week and the prior four-week average. Shipments also were at a marketing-year high, up 11 percent from last week and 21 percent from the average.
Wheat cash prices in Texas were down 23 cents to $5.39 per bushel, and futures prices experienced a matching decrease to settle at $5.77. Projected U.S. ending stocks for wheat totaled 687 million bushels, up five percent from December’s projections. Net export sales for wheat were up 89 percent from last week, but down 11 percent from the prior four-week average. Shipments were 51 percent lower than the previous week and 36 percent lower than the weekly average.
Texas corn cash prices were lower again, down about 13 cents. Corn futures prices also had a lower settlement price at $3.87 per bushel. USDA forecasted a six percent decrease in ending stocks for U.S. corn for this harvest season. Corn export sales were up more than double from the previous week, but still down 10 percent from the four-week average. Export shipments were 22 percent lower than last week and 40 percent lower than the average.
Minimal precipitation was recorded last week for Texas, with only the Galveston area experiencing more than a quarter of an inch of rain. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor for Texas showed drought conditions near unchanged with about 60 percent of the state in some stage of drought intensity, down less than one percent point. On the national level, nearly 45 percent of the U.S. is experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought, up about one percent 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.