AUSTIN – (Feb. 9, 2015) For the week ending Feb. 7, 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 steady to $2 lower. Fed cattle weekly cash sales were higher, ranging from $160 to $162 per cwt. Wholesale beef values continued their decline, with Choice Grade down $239.08 per cwt and Select Grade down to $233.81. Weekly net export sales for beef for the week of Jan. 23-29 totaled 14,000 metric tons (MT), up 40 percent from last week, but export shipments of 9,400 MT were 13.8 percent lower.
Cotton prices for West Texas were slightly higher than last week, up 1.7 percent to 59.13 cents per pound on Friday. March futures prices were 3.8 percent higher. The USDA NASS Texas field office reported that the state’s cotton crop is 99 percent harvested, up two points from last week, but down one percent from last year and the five-year average. Export cotton sales were 23 percent lower than last week’s marketing-year high, but up five percent from the prior four-week average. Shipments were at another marketing-year high, up three percent from last week and 21 percent from the average.
Wheat recovered from last week’s dip in prices to settle at $5.27 per bushel, same as two weeks ago. Futures for KC Hard Red Winter Wheat’s March contract were up 4.1 percent. The Texas Winter Wheat crop is 97 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 remains in excellent or good condition, same as last week.. Net export sales for wheat were down 27 percent from last week, but up 11 percent from the prior four-week average. Shipments were 29 percent higher than the previous week and 35 percent higher than the weekly average.
Texas corn prices were higher with cash prices up four percent last week to $4.19 per bushel and futures prices up 4.3 percent to $3.86. Corn export sales were down 12 percent from the previous week and 22 percent from the four-week average. Export shipments were 14 percent lower than last week but 14 percent higher than the average.
A portion of the state received rainfall last week, mostly in South and East Texas. An area south of a line extending from Lufkin to Del Rio received one-half to one inch of rain. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor for Texas showed some more improvement in drought conditions with 56 percent of the state still experiencing some stage of drought intensity, down slightly from last week. On the national level, drought conditions improved with less than 50 percent of the U.S. experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought, down two 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.