For the week ending February 28, Texas auctions quoted feeder cattle prices mostly higher, ranging from $2 to $4 higher per hundredweight. Texas weekly direct feeder cattle sales for head below 850 lbs. were $2 to $9 lower. Fed cattle weekly cash sales were lower at $156 per cwt, but wholesale beef values were higher with Choice Grade increasing $7.17 to $247.48 per cwt and Select Grade gaining $7.78 to $245.57. Net export sales for February 13-19 were higher at 13,900 metric tons (MT), up 29 percent from the previous week. Export shipments were consistent with the week before.
Cotton cash prices were consistent with last week’s four-week high at 61.38 cents per pound. March cotton futures prices settled at 64.73 cents per pound. The market was supported by tight certified stocks and brisk exports over the past few weeks. Net export cotton sales were three times higher than the past week’s marketing-year low, but still down 70 percent from the prior four-week average. Shipments were down 33 percent from the previous week and 32 percent from the average.
Wheat rose slightly in both the cash and futures markets to close at $4.99 per bushel and $5.35 per bushel, respectively. News that Egypt is buying additional wheat from the Black Sea again causes concern about the United States’ inability to be awarded export tenders. Net export sales for wheat were up 23 percent from the previous week, but down 19 percent from the prior four-week average. Shipments were 26 percent higher than the week before and 28 percent higher than the weekly average.
Texas corn prices only rose slightly to $4.21 per bushel in the cash market and remained steady at $3.85 per bushel in futures prices. Weakness in other markets spilled over into the corn market making it impossible for corn to hold onto early gains. Corn export sales were down 23 percent from the week before and 23 percent from the four-week average. Export shipments were 24 percent higher than the previous week and 21 percent higher than the average.
Last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor for Texas showed a worsening in drought conditions for the state with nearly 62 percent of the state still in some stage of drought intensity, up about one percent point from the previous week. Nearly 28 percent of the state remains in severe, extreme or exceptional drought, up slightly from the week before and up five percent points from three months ago. On the national level, drought conditions improved slightly with about 54 percent of the U.S. experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought, down 0.63 percent points from the previous week.
Additional information on agricultural weather, crop progress and agricultural markets can be found on the TDA Market News page.