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AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK

Number 7

·~-------------

Wednesday, February 15, 1950

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

C0 T T 0 N
Spot cotton prices continue to advance rapidly; on Tuesday, February 14,
Middling lgrb 11 cotton"lnthe ten leading markets averaged 32.23 cents per pound,
the highest level since July. This price compares with a seasori'1 s low of 29. 45
cents on October 5, and with a loan rate of 29.57 cents on the same basis.
Spot markets in the U. S. were moderately active last week and trading
was in rathergood volume for this time of the year. Reported sales in the ton
markets totaled 180,300 bales, compared with 209,800 bales the previous week and
147 ,100 bales t 1es-aii1E3week last year. Southwestern spot markets also were moderately active and inquiries from domestic and 'export sources were fairly numerous.
Farmers in Texas were reported to be selling loan equities last week at
prices ranging generally from $2 to $8 per bale.
-This week's CCC report indicates that 2,968,000 bales of 1949-crop U. s.
cotton were pledged under the loan program through Februar~reflecting an increase of approximc:ttely 91,000-bales for the week then ended. Cotton placed under
loan to the same date last year exceeded 4.9 million bales.
Cotton placedunderloailin Texasthrough February 2 totaled 1,11.i.4,000
bales; Arizona, 108,000; Louisiana, 113,000; New Mexico, 32,000; and Oklahoma,
--------240,000 .,
Domestic mill demand was relatively quiet las-;:, week but export demand
continued to be verygood_.--'ffie best demand continues to be for the betfer grades
and staples and for low grades. Domestic mill purchases of tho medium grades during the week vrerc moder~.:, te.-Cotton exports thus far this season amount to 2.5 million bales, compared to 1. 8 million b:J fo s for the same period last season.
So far, dev<. lation of many foreign currencies last fall has had little
effect on either dome.stic· imports or exports of cotton textiles. If this continues
to be the case, domestic mill consumption probably will not fall below current
levels for some time.
1

C0 TT0 NSEED
Prices pa].d last week to farmers for cottonseed averaged $44.60 per ton
in Texas and ~r42.40 in Oklahoma, or near the same prices as two weeks earlier. In
areas where harvest is not complete, a major part of the seed being offered for
sale is going into the PMA purchase program.
Cottonseed grades last week in Texas averaged 100.5, compared ~Qth 99.5
two weeks ago.
The LSDA estimates that the production of fats and oils from domestic
materials in the yoar beginning October 1949 probably will""total over 12 billion
pounds, or 2 percent above the production of the previous season and well above
the wartime peak of 11 billion pounds. It is estimated also that tho production
of cottonseed in 1949 exceeded the 191+8 crop by 9 percent.
Bills to repeal taxes on oleomargarine; which have been passed by the
House and Senc>Te;-are awaiting the attention of-a conference conunittce, but further
action towards final passage is not expected until after the cotton acruage revision bill is passed.
GRAINS

Wheat prices on the Fort '.'iorth market contj_nue to fluctuate within

AGRICULTURAL NEWS OF THE WEEK
Number 7

Wednesday, February 15, 1950
Page 2

narrow margins; on Tuesday, February 14, No. 1 Hard sold .for $2.40-$2.44 per
bushel, which is about the same as a month earlier.
The wheat market is reflecting the effect of large surpluses in this
country and diminishing outlets for export, plus the fact that another crop is
only four months away. Exports of wheat and flour appear to be restricted to allocation of funds by the U. s. Government.
Corn prices in Fort Worth are holding stea.dy with Tuesday's prices for
No. 2 White at ~l.~to $1.66 per bushel, or about equal those of a month ago.
The principal sustaining factor in the corn market is the loan program. Recent
hopes for a substantial export business have been based on reports of a small corn
crop in Argentina, which normally is a large exporter. However, exports of corn
are still dependent largely on ECA allocations.
Prices of oats and grain sorghums in Fort Worth this week were about the
same as a monthago, althoughLi'To ?centsabove the January lows. On Tuesday,
No. 2 vVhite oats sold for 95 to 96 cents per bushel, and No. 2 Yellow grain sorghums were qu 0ted at ~2.35 to $2.40 per cwt.
The USDA reported this week that July-January exports of grains and
grain products were 17 percent below those for the same period last season. Exports of wheat and wheat products during this period totaled 193 million bushels,
off some 60 percent.
ECA allocations early this week included $3 million to Ireland for purchase of u:-S. corn, plus $65 thousand for U. s. wheat, and about $1 million to
Austria for buying wheat.

F RUI TS

Grapefruit production in Teias this season is estimated at 6.5 million
boxes, comPBXed with 11.3 million boxes harvested last season and a 1947-41f"Crop
of 23.2 million boxes. Reports show that about 80 percent of the crop was harvested by February 1 and that harvest will be practically completed by March 1.
Grapefruit prices, which for this season have been running well above
comparable months of last season, ~Qll remain high this winter, says the USDA, as
supplies remaining to be marketed are smaller than a year ago.
Orang~E!oJuction in Texas is estimated at 1.6 milli?n ~oxes, compared
with 3.4 million boxes last season and a 1947-48 crop of 5.2 nu.llion boxes.
Production of dried fruits in 1949-50 is estimated to be about oneeighth larger than that of 1948-49 but 10 percent under the 1935-39 average. The
1949-50 pack of commercially-~ed _f!:uits 'Will about equal that of the previous
season.
LIVESTOCK
AND MEAT
Livestock prices on the Fort Worth market have made only very minor
changes during the past week. Top prices for hogs at $17.25 per cwt. on February
14 were up $2 from a month earlier. Top prices for most other classes of livestock wore within $1 of the prices reported a month ago.
Livestock receipts in Fort Worth last week were above those of the previous week when rains and sleet interrupted marketing. As compared with the same
week last year, receipts of cattle, calves, and sheep were off substantially but
marketings of hogs were slightly higher.
Prices of hogs are expected to increase seasonally in the next month or
twG as the number of hogs marketed will decline more than the usual rate, according to the USDA. Meanwhile, prices of the top grades of cattle may decline some'V\hat.

AGRICULTUi"'AL NK.S OF THE WEEK
Number 7
·

Wednesday, February 15, 1950
Page 3

The BAE reported this week that· meat production in commerical plants in
Texas in 1949 was about 749 million pounds, or 20 percent less than that produced
in 1948 and 24 percent under the 1947 production. In terms of numbers of livestock slaughtered, cattle were off 26 percent from 1948; calves, 16 percent; hogs,
14 percent; aL·. sheep and lambs we re lower by more than one-half.
Cornrt-:.rcial meat production in the U. S. in the January-March quarter is
expected to total around 8 percent larger than-in the same period last year, with
practically all the increase being in pork.

P 0 U1 T R Y

AND

E GGS

Prices paid by Dallas wholesalers to farmers and other producers for
poultry and eggs made no significant changes last week and early this week with
heavy hens holding steady at 18 cents, fryers at 25 cents, and No. 1 turkey hens
at 30 cents per pound. Eggs remained unchanged at 27 cents per dozen.
The USDA has announced that it will continue for the month of March to
support egg prICe'S at levels roflccting anaverage price to producers of at least
25 cents per dozen for shell eggs -- the same as the January-February price.
The government announced last week that it is going to give away its
warehouse supplies of dried eggs, along with potatoes and dried milk. SomeD
million pounds of-dried eggs have been made available for the school lunch program,
the Bureau:-of-Indian Affairs, and to federal, state, and local public welfare
agencies.
The USDA predicts that egg production will increase seasonally through
the next three or four months but prices are not expected to decline from present
levels. After mid-year, prices are-likely to rise more than seasonally because
the nllinber of hens sold or lost from laying flocks probably will be larger than
the number of pullets added as replacements.
No substantial rise in chicken prices is likely for some time because
marketings of broilers from spociaIT'Zod producingareas will -be large through at
least tho first three or four months of 1950, and cold storage holdings of all
classGs of poultry are also large.
WOOL AND
MOHAIR
Occa ional lots o.f!ii'Ohair were contracted in Texas last week for 65 cents
per pound for arult . and 85 cents for kid hair. As compared with a year ago, adult
mohair was up 24Ccfr1ts per pound and kid hair was 10 cents higher.
---ifool t rading was slow last week in the Southwest but some 12-months
Texas 1'rnolsold in Boston at $1.55 per pound, clean content.
- - --The Bureau of Census reports that consumption of apparel wool during
January-November 1949 totaled 307.6 million pounds, scoured basis. This was 31
percent below consumption in the same period of 1948 but 20 percent above the
av~rage of corresponding periods in 1935-39.

WI N T E R

VE GE T A B1 E S

The Texas winter cabbage crop is estimated nt 171,800 tons, or 15,000
tons above average . A winter carrot crop of 3,906,000 bushels is substantially
above average, although below' last year's large crop. The Texas winter lettuce
production, which is being expanded rapidly, is estimated at 2,380,000 crates,
more than four times last year's harvest.

w. M. Pritchett
Agricultural Economist

31
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GHAFHIC AGRICuLTUHAL

January
~ill".iS

Febru2r;y

lrO. 1

Daily Spot lrices of 15/16-Inch Cotton, By Grades,
Average of Ten Designated Spot I:arkots,
Octob8r l; 1949, Through l"ebruary 14, 1950

(Occasional supplement to ~~GRICULr.Ll.1R.hL lf.G1l3 01" Th.L'.J ~,JEEK)

2/15/50