AUSTIN – (March 16, 2015) For the week ending March 14, 2015, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly steady and firm, ranging from $2 to $10 higher per hundredweight (cwt). Texas weekly direct feeder cattle sales were $1 to $6 higher. Fed cattle weekly cash sales were higher at $161 per cwt, but wholesale beef values were lower, with Choice Grade falling $4.36 to $244.12 per cwt and Select Grade falling $0.32 to $244.07. Net export sales for February 27-March 5 were up 47 percent from the prior four-week average. Export shipments were up seven percent from the previous week.
Cotton cash prices were slightly lower than the previous week, closing at 57.88 cents per pound. May futures prices fell four percent last week to settle at 60.50 cents per pound. The USDA NASS Texas field office reported that field preparations for cotton continued in the state’s High Plains and Trans-Pecos regions. Net export cotton sales were noticeably higher than both the previous week’s sales and prior four-week average. Shipments were down 15 percent from the previous week, but up nine percent from the average.
Wheat cash and futures prices gained $0.18 and $0.21 to close at $5.02 per bushel and $5.42 per bushel, respectively. The USDA NASS Texas field office reported that increased moisture throughout the state allowed for progress to be made in the Winter Wheat crop. Eighty-nine percent of the Texas Winter Wheat crop is in fair condition or better. Fifty percent of the wheat crop is in excellent or good condition. Net export sales for wheat were down five percent from last week, but up 21 percent from the prior four-week average. Shipments were 11 percent lower than the previous week and one percent lower than the average.
Texas corn prices were slightly lower with cash prices down to $4.07 per bushel and futures prices down to $3.74. The USDA NASS Texas field office reported that six percent of Texas corn acreage has been planted, up two percentage points from last week but down four percent from the same period last year. Most of this progress came in the South Central, Upper Coast and Southern areas of the state. Corn export sales were down 50 percent from last week and 52 percent from the four-week average. Export shipments were 16 percent lower than last week, but 31 percent higher than the average.
Scattered showers were experienced throughout the state during the week, bringing up to 3 inches of precipitation in some locations. Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor for Texas showed improvement in drought conditions for the state with nearly 58 percent of Texas still experiencing some stage of drought intensity, down three percent points from last week. On thenational level, drought conditions worsened slightly with nearly 53 percent of the U.S. experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought, up 0.13 percent points 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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