AUSTIN – (March 9, 2015) For the week ending March 6, 2015, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly steady and firm, ranging from $2 to$10 higher per hundredweight (cwt). Texas Weekly Direct feeder prices were $3 to $7 higher. Fed cattle weekly cash sales were lower at $159 per cwt, and wholesale beef values were mixed with Choice Grade increasing $1.09 to $248.48 per cwt and Select Grade falling $1.18 to $244.39. Net export sales for Feb. 27-March 5 were down 38 percent from last week. Export shipments were up two percent from last week.
Cotton cash prices were slightly lower, down two cents to 59.38 cents per pound, after four weeks of sustained gains. March futures prices fell 2.7 percent last week to settle at 62.95 cents per pound. Net export cotton sales were nearly 31 percent lower than the previous week. Shipments were 87 percent higher than last week and up 37 percent from the average.
Wheat fell in both the cash and futures markets to close at $4.84 per bushel and $5.21 per bushel, respectively. The USDA NASS Texas field office reported that the Texas Winter Wheat conditions throughout the state were rated fair to good. Increased moisture in areas of the High Plains improved winter wheat conditions. Net export sales for wheat were 43 percent higher from last week and 34 percent from the prior four-week average. Shipments were two percent lower than the previous week, but 14 percent higher than the weekly average.
Texas corn prices also were slightly lower with cash prices down to $4.13 per bushel and futures prices down to $3.79. The USDA NASS Texas field office reported four percent of corn acreage had been planted as of March 2, up two percent from last week but down three percent from last year. Corn export sales were up 16 percent from last week, but down five percent from the four-week average. Export shipments were 59 percent higher than last week and 91 percent higher than the average.
Eastern parts of Texas received upwards of two inches of rainfall, while the remainder of the state reported 0.01 to 1.5 inches of precipitation. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor for Texas showed a slight improvement in drought conditions for the state, with a little more than 61 percent of the state still in some stage of drought intensity, down 0.48 percentage points from the week before. Nearly 27 percent of the state remains in severe, extreme or exceptional drought, down slightly from last week and up five percent from three months ago. On the national level, drought conditions continued to improve slightly with nearly 53 percent of the U.S. experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought, down 1.6 percentage points from the previous 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.