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Number 230




fednesday, May 26, 1954

Spot cotton prices declined slightly last week after having reached a
new high for the season in the previous week. On lOnday, May 24, '1iddling 15/16inch cotton on the 10 spot markets averaged 34.30¢ per pound, compared with the
peak of 34.54¢ 2 weeks ago. These prices may be compared with the support price
for this grade and staple length, 10-market average basis, of 33.99¢.
There has been increased sales activity in major cotton markets during
the past several weeks. The USDA reports that sales in the 10 markets last week
totalea 104,100 bales, compared with 58,600 bales a year earlier. The larger
volume of sales is due principally to an increased demand from foreign countries,
says the Department. Export demand has been mostly for Strict Low Middling and
better grades one inch and longer.
Consumption of cotton by do~estic mills in the 4-week period ended '1ay 1
was 660,000 bales, the-Yowest monthly volume in almost 4 years, according to the
Bureau of the Census, During the August-April period this season, domestic mills
consumed about 6,6 million bales, compared with 7.2 million in the corresponding
period last season and 7,1 million 2 seasons ago.

The most noteworthy change in livestock p ices on the Fort Worth market
last week was in the sheep and lamb division. Ref ecting the weakness in dressed
lamb prices in 1~astern markets, slaughter lambs decli ed ,,1 to •.13 per cwt. Sheep
prices lost about SO¢. Shorn fat lambs grading Goo to Choice closed last week
at ~pl 7 to ~pl8,
Hog prices in Fort Worth climbed back to 28 early last week bu later
lost ground and closed at about . 27, top price.
Receipts of cattle and calves at major markets increased last week.
However, prices of better classes held steady or gain d about 50¢. Good and Choice
fed steers and yearlings brought ~p20 to . 25, Common nd edium grades sold at · 13
to $19. Good and Choice slaughter calves reported at 18 to 23.25. Demand for
replacement cattle was strong and Good and Choice tocker steer calves sold from
~~18 to .~22.
Medium and Good slaughter goats sold on the San ntonio market last week
at $6 . 50 to ~P7 ,50, with Cull and Common at 5 to 'ir6• Good 45-pound slaughter kids
sold up to $5 per head, while the bulk ranged from 3.75 to ~4.75 per head.
Prospects for 1954 feed crops are generally favorable, says the USDA.
Larger acreages of oats, barley, and sorghum grains than in 1953 are in prospect.
Moreover, stocks of feed grains on hand are considerably larger than a year ago,
Texas broiler markets opened firm, grew steady, and closed steady to
quiet last week, according to the Texas Department of
riculture. Closing prices
were 1¢ to 2¢ above a week earlier, The farm price in most areas was 24¢ to 25¢
for broilers or fryers weighing
to 3 pounds. A Corsicana processing plant paid
26¢, delivered to plant.


Placement of broiler chicks on Texas farms continues under the depressing
influence of comparatively low broiler prices. The AMS office in Austin reports
that in the week ended May 15 there were 1,373,000 broiler chicks placed on Texas
farms, which is 9% less than in the corresponding week a year ago.
Turkey production in 1954 is certain to exceed the 1953 output, says the
USDA in its report on The Poultry and Egg Situation, and may equal or even surpass
the 1952 record crop of"Li'J million heavy breed turkeys and 18 million of the light
MI S C E 1 1 A N E 0 U S
In its analysis of the general economic situation as it relates to the
demand for farm commodities, the USDA says that domestic demand for food was strong
in the first quarter of 1954 despite some decline in economic activity. Consumer
incomes after taxes were maintained at record levels, and consumers spent about
26% of their income for food, the same percentage as in 1953. The recent improvement in business conditions suggests that the demand for food will not change much
in the second quarter.
Foreign takings of u.s. farm products in the current marketing year
have totaled about the same as in the corresponding period a year earlier, with
gains for tobacco and fats and oils but smaller exports cf wheat. Exports of
cotton currently are running larger than a year earlier and are expected to total
well above the 3 million bales exported in the 1952-53 marketing year.

w. M. Pritchett
Agricultural Economist