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Number 106

Wednesday, January 9j 1952

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
The mid-December l ocal market price report issued la s t week by the BAE
o ffice in Austin gives p r ic e s . of a l l important farm commodities in Texas on
December 19, with comparisons as of a year e a r lie r . Increases for the 12-month
period then ended are reported fo r a l l grains except rice and for potatoes, hogs,
veal calv es, poultry, dairy products, hay, and citru s f r u it s . Prices of r ic e ,
cotton, cottonseed, peanuts, beef c a t t le , lambs, eggs,and wool were lower.
The mid-December index of prices received by Texas farmers fo r a l l
agricu ltu ral commodities, at yob% of i t s 1910-16 base, was down 1 point from
November but 3 points above December 1990. The December index of 369 compares
with la s t year’ s high of 399 in A p ril and a low of 363 in August and September.
Although farm commodity prices in Texas at the end of 1991 averaged near the same
level as a year e a r lie r , the average for the year was su bstan tially above that
of 1990.
The U .S . ind£x of prices paid, in te re s t, taxes, and wage rates in Dec­
ember was 1% above December 1990 and \2% above June of the same year. The index
of prices received by farmers in December was 1% above the index of prices paid
by farmers.
The O ffice of PrLce S ta b iliz a tio n la s t week announced price ce ilin g s
designed to r o ll back ,the price of I r i s h pota to es some 9 to 10%, e ffe c tiv e Jan­
uary 19. The GPS D ire cto r•claims that "the brake th is regulation w ill apply to
potato prices w ill save the consumer m illions of d o lla rs” .
This was the f i r s t OPS regulation -setting ce ilin g s in the fresh vege­
table f ie l d . However, OPS says a sharp watch is being kept on the risin g prices
of several other vegetables, including le ttu c e , carrots, cabbage, spinach, tom­
atoes, and ce lery.
I t was only several years ago that the Government was supporting the
price of Ir is h potatoes through the p r ice support program carried on by the CCC.
However, the support price was established in lin e with certain price rela tio n ­
ships that existed in 1910-llu In the meantime, potato growers had m ultiplied
yields per acre, thus cutting costs of production to such a low le v e l that the
support price made potato growing very p ro fita b le . With prices supported, and
no re strictio n s on acreage, production soared. CCC losses from i t s potato program
became very heavy and the Agency was the target of considerable c r itic is m . There­
afte r, the price support program was dropped. With no price guaranteed, potato
growers cu rtailed acreage. Within a very short time the potato supply situ atio n
changed from one of surplus to one of shortage. I t is for th is reason that the
OPS has decided to place price c e ilin g s on th is commodity.
The OPS th is week ro lled back price c e ilin g s on wool, wool fu tu res, and
mohair. Raw wool ce i l i n gs were cut an average of s lig h tly more than 20Wi The
new c e ilin g on average- 6lxT s , clean b a sis, is $ 2 .6 6 per pound, compared with a
previous $ 3 . 39 .
Wool futures c e ilin g s were cut from $ 3.22 for exchange standard wool to
$2,66 on the New York Cotton Exchange,
Mohair price c e ilin g s were cut from $2.28 per lb . fo r o rig in a l bag kid
to $1 . 7 8 .
The new wool p r ic e ' c e ilin gs are about kO'% higher than current market
prices. The newer c e ilin g s could mean about $1.00 per lb . to the sheep r a is e r ,
compared with a December 19 U .S. average price of 63 cents.

Number 106

Wednesday, January 9, 1952
Page 2

C 0 T ~T 0 N
Spot cotton market quotations continued to show wide fluctu ations from
day to day, although closing prices fo r the past several marketing days have been
near those of the past month. On Tuesday, January 8 , Middling l5/l6~inch cotton
closed on the Dallas Cotton Exchange at 1*2.10 cents per l b . , or 1 cent below the
December peak reached a month e a r lie r .
Cotton has been moving into trade channels f a i r ly rapidly in recent
weeks. Reported sales in the 10 spot markets fo r the August-December period
to ta l almost 6 m illio n bales, or s lig h tly under the corresponding 5 months la s t
CCC loan entries reported through December 27 this season totaled
835*000 b ales, with repayments at 266 , 0 0 0 ■b ales, leaving loans outstanding on
about 569,000 b ales. During December, CCC loan redemptions totaled over 200,000
bales,w hile in the same month reported entries amounted to about 30,000 bales.
World production of cotton during 1951-52 is nowestimated at about
33 m illion bales, which is about equal estimated world consumption of cotton.
A fter declining during the la tte r part of December, p r ices on the Fort
Worth grain market advanced during the f i r s t week of January. On Tuesday, Jan­
uary 8 , No. 1 hard wheat closed at $2.76-J per b u ., up \ cents from a week e a r lie r .
No. 2 barley at $1.76 per bu. was up 2 cents. No. 2 white oats brought a top
price of $ 1 . 21* per b u ., up 3 cents.
Corn prices in Fort Worth.on Tuesday were above a week e a r lie r although
below the peaks of la s t week. No. 2 yellow corn on Tuesday closed at $2.23-and
No. 2 white corn at $2.53 per b u ., both fr a c tio n a lly below the January 1* le v e l.
Grain sorghums rose 5 cents per cwt. in the past week and on Tuesday
were upto $ 3 ,1 5 7 or as high as they have sold in almost 1* years.
Conditions in Texas during most of the second h a lf of December were
generally favorable for commercial vegetables, says th is week’ s BAE truck crop
report from A ustin. Losses from low temperatures over the week end of December 16
were not extensive. There is need for rain in most non-irrigated sections.
Good progress has been made in planting the Lower V alley early spring
potato and tomato crops and some watermelon acreage has been planted in the
F a lfu rria s section .
Supplies of hardy type vegetables from Texas D is tr ic ts are expected to
be available in good volume by the middle of January, with cabbage showing the
greatest increase in tonnage.
Receipts of c a ttle at Fort Worth la s t week were up considerably from the
previous week and trading was slow on most c la sse s, according to PMA reports.
Prices were weak to lower on some grades. Slaughter calves found a steady market
a l l week but stockers were in poor demand and prices were weaker. Hogs were
steady to strong, with marketings up sharply. Supplies of sheep and lambs were
lig h t with prices up 50 cents to $ 1 .0 0 over the previous week’ s clo se.
W, M. Pritchett
Agricultural Economist