TDA Market Recap Feb. 2

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AUSTIN – (Feb. 2, 2015) For the week ending Jan. 31, 2015, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices $3 to $12 lower per hundredweight (cwt) during first part of the week, though some auctions reported a recovery in prices of $2 to $10 higher at the week’s end. Texas weekly direct feeder cattle sales were down $3 to $13, with heavier cattle taking the largest losses. Fed cattle weekly cash sales were lower at $159 per cwt. Wholesale beef values were sharply lower again, with Choice Grade down 4.5 percent from last week and Select Grade down 4.6 percent. Weekly net export sales for Jan. 16-22 totaled 10,000 metric tons (MT), up 4.2 percent from a week ago, and export shipments of 10,900 MT were less than one percent lower in comparison to last week. According to the USDA Livestock Inventory update, Texas has 11.8 million head of cattle, up six percent from last year’s inventory. Texas continues to rank first in the nation in total number of cattle and calves, accounting for 13 percent of the total U.S. inventory. Texas’ sheep inventory is down one percent from last year, but the number of goats is up two percent.

Cotton prices for West Texas recovered from last week, up 4.7 percent to 58.13 cents per pound on Friday. Futures prices were 3.6 percent higher. The USDA NASS Texas field office reported that the state’s cotton crop is 97 percent harvested, up one point from last week, but down two percent points from last year and three percent points behind the average. Export cotton sales were at a marketing-year high again for the third week in a row at 546,200 bales. Sales were 16 percent higher than last week and 90 percent higher than the prior four-week average. Shipments also were at another marketing-year high, up 22 percent from last week and 33 percent from the average.




Wheat prices were down 24 cents in both the cash and futures markets, settling at $5.03 and $5.40 per bushel, respectively. The Texas Winter Wheat crop is 96 percent emerged, up one point from last week, and consistent with this time last year and the five-year average. Forty-two percent of the wheat crop is in excellent or good condition, down one point from last week’s conditions. Net export sales for wheat were up 19 percent from last week and 74 percent from the prior four-week average. Shipments were 22 percent higher than the previous week and 23 percent higher than the weekly average.

Texas corn prices also felt the pressure of the strong U.S. dollar with cash prices down 3.8 percent to $4.03 and futures prices down 4.4 percent to $3.70. Corn export sales were down 51 percent from the previous week’s marketing-year high, but consistent with the four-week average. Export shipments were 24 percent higher than last week and 61 percent higher than the average.

All of the state recorded some precipitation last week, with North and West Texas, specifically along Interstate 20, receiving a half-inch of rain. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor for Texas showed some improvement in drought conditions with more than 58 percent of the state still in some stage of drought intensity, down more than one percent from last week. On the national level, drought conditions worsened with nearly 52 percent of the U.S. experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought, over five percent points higher than last week.

Additional information on agricultural weather, crop progress and agricultural markets can be found on the TDA Market Newspage.

Week Ending Previous Previous
Texas Cash Markets: Jan. 31, 2015          Week            Year
Feeder Steers $/cwt 200.56 209.08 164.74
Fed Cattle $/cwt 159.00 160.00 144.62
Slaughter Lambs $/cwt 237.00 231.00 192.00
Slaughter Goats $/cwt 270.00 256.00 241.00
Cotton ¢/lb. 58.13 55.50 82.00
Grain Sorghum $/cwt 6.67 6.95 7.61
Wheat $/bu. 5.03 5.27 6.20
Corn $/bu. 4.03 4.19 4.78
Oranges $/carton 12.23 12.23 14.65
Grapefruit $/carton 12.53 12.53 13.75
Cabbage $/50 lbs. 9.00 10.00 8.25
Futures Markets:
Feeder Cattle $/cwt 205.20 213.70 169.42
Fed Cattle $/cwt 154.85 150.35 141.67
Cotton ¢/lb. 59.36 57.30 85.83
Wheat $/bu. 5.40 5.64 6.16
Corn $/bu. 3.70 3.87 4.34
Lumber $/MBF 321.80 311.50 353.80

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,

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