The sheep and lamb situation


Material Information

The sheep and lamb situation
Physical Description:
30 no. : ; 28 cm.
United States -- Bureau of Agricultural Economics
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Sheep industry -- Marketing -- Statistics -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
Lamb meat industry -- Statistics -- Periodicals -- United States   ( lcsh )
serial   ( sobekcm )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
statistics   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
United States Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Economics.
Dates or Sequential Designation:
SLS-1 (Jan. 1937)-
Dates or Sequential Designation:
Ceased with SLS-30 (June 1939).
General Note:
Title from caption.
General Note:
Latest issue consulted: SLS-24 (Dec. 20, 1938).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 01642958
lcc - HD9436.U5 A2
System ID:

Related Items

Succeeded by:
Hog situation
Succeeded by:
Beef cattle situation
Succeeded by:
Livestock situation

Full Text

\3C=. '3\: i 1
Bureau of Agricultural cc'nomics

SLS-5 May C2, 1937

-- ----- --- -- -- -- -- - -


The early spring lamb crop this year is somewhat smaller than that of

last year and marketing of spring lambs have been delayed somewhat because

of unfavorablle weather and feed conditions, the Bureau of Agricultural

Economics reports. W.'ith relatively small marketing of new crop litbs in

prospect until after June, the seasonal decline in prices of such lambs

probably will occur later than usual this summer.

Sheep and lambs in the Western States generally are in po1j condition

and prospects are rather favorable for the late lamb crop. It is possible

that thr delay in marketing of early lambs will result in a larger-than-

usual increase in marketing of lambs in the late lamb marketing season

after July. In this event the seasonal decline in lamb prices, while

occurring later than usual, may be greater than average.

Marketings of early lambs from southern California, Arizona and

Texas in April and early May were fairly large, but small shipments came from

other areas. The movement of shorn yearlings and wethers from Texas in

April was nearly the largest on record. It is likely that marketings of

Texas yearlings, wethers and spring lambs will continue large through June,

probably resulting in total slaughter supplies of shee- anrd 166tg Pt PT

than a year earlier. -


:_-3-.5 -2-

After dIclining in late A;ril and early May, prices of spring

I-mbs strengthened about mid-May. In both April and early May, prices

of new crop lambs were from $1 to $1.50 higher than those of a year earlier.

Prices of fed lambs in ..pril continued near the high level reached in

March, but the market movement of such lambs has been about completed.


Background A sharp rise in lamb prices which
started in late December continued through the
first half of January, when the top price of
lambs at Chicago reached .ll. Prices of
slI ~l1ter lambs and ewes ai:g in advanced sharply
about mid-March, when top prices at Chicago
reached $13.25 for fed lamis and $8 for slaughter
ewes, the hilhe-st prices in several years.

Lamb prices higher th1an for several years

.'.'er declining during late March and early April, prices of fed
lambs recovered sharply, and in the third week of April were slightly
.iLh.:r than the peak reached in mid-March. The top rice of fed wooled
lat-'s at Chicago, of $13.35 per 100 pounds in late :.;ril, was the highest
for the month since 1929. Prices of sprini,- lambs also advanced at this
time to a level considerably higher than in April of other recent years.

Prices of both fed lambs and spring declined in late April
but recovered about the middle of May. The top price of scrir. lambs at
Chicago in the week ended !,.-:y 15 was $13.50. Ordinarily r!-1es of fel
wooled lambs are somewhat lower than those of E- ri:.,. I..:, but because
of the relatively .ich prices of wooled pelts there has been little
difference in prices of the two kinds of lambs this airing. Prices of
shorn laibs in A-ril were about the same as those of a year earlier but
were from .'..50 to $2 below prices of comparable tradi:s of ;.old lIm',s
in April and early May.


Average price per 100 Founds of good and choice spring lambs,
at Kansas City, by weeks, April May 1936-37

S1936 1937
: Good : : Good :
:and : : : and
Date : choice :Choice : Good : choice :Choice : Good
:average : :average :
:Dollars Dollars Dollars Dollars Dollars Dollars

Apr. 3 .........: 10.43 10.62 10.24 12.26 12.61 11.92
10 .........: 10.55 10.78 10.32 12.00 12.33 11.68
17 .........: 10.98 11.24 10.72 11.94 12.19 11.70
24 .........: 10.58 10.81 10.34 12.50 12.75 12.25
May 1 '.........: 11.52 11.80 11.24 11.94 12.24 11.65
8 ........: 10.46 10.78 10.15 11.50 11.88 11.12
15 .........: 10.92 11.19 10.65 12.04 12.37 11.72

Slaughter supplies in April larger than year earlier

Slaughter of sheep and lambs under Federal inspection in April,
totaling 1,334,000 head, was 2 percent larger than in March and 5 percent
larger than in April 1936. The market movement of fed lambs has been about
completed, and in recent weeks market supplies have included increaiing
numbers of spring lambs and grass-fat yearlings from Texas. The increase
in marketirgs from Texas is indicated by the fact that receipts of sheep
and lambs at Fort '.crth in April were the largest for the month on record.
Approximately 70 percent of these were shorn yearlings and about 25 percent
were spring lambs.

Although marketing of spring lambs have increased seasonally in
recent weeks, supplies have been considerably smaller than those of a year
earli.r. Total eastern shipments of California spring lambs by May 8
were only about half as large as the average movement for this period of
the year. The quality of the California lambs was only fair.


The progress of lambs in the important early lambing areas has been
uncv'n as a result of the varied conditions of weather and feed. California
feed conditions ranged from very good in the South to poor in the Central
and northern areas. In the Pacific Northwest, low temperatures held back
grGoth of pastures and ranges despite favorable moisture conditions.
Feed suppli's in the Southeastern States were generally ample and the
wclthvr was favorable. In Texas, feed and weather conditions continued


Markc4in-s of early lambs from southern California, Arizona and
s.-::s in April were fairly large but ship-~cnts from other areas were
small. The April movement of shorn yearlings and wethers from Texas was
very lar7.:. The eastern movement of California lambs up to :lay 1 was only
about two-thirds that of a y:er earlier and much the smallest since ?I3.

California sTring lamb sup ili:s small

*ith favorable feed conditions in April, lambs developc-i rapidly in
southern California and in the San Jo-auin Valley. In the rest of the
State weather conditions during April were not sufficiently favorable to
offset the effects of adverse weather earlier in the season, and pastures
continued otr. Early lambs in these. are-s made fairly good gains during
April but at the end of that month their condition was below ave-:-:e.
Indications about May 1 were that about 75 ncrce;t of the lambs maiht
reach weights suitable for local s! fighterr but that the -poortion re-.ching
condition for eastern s.hrirnts would be small. !'p to.; ,-: 1, eastern
shipments of California l-.rts totaled only 90,000 head, which is only
about one-half as lar-e as the -r..:r:ge movement for the same period in
the last 6 years.

Marketings of lambs from Arizona in April were fairly 1 -,-E -.rd ship-
ments of early lambs from this State have been about completed.

Southeastern States

In Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia, pastures improved during
after a late start. Green feed was generally ample and early l.-,bs c:ntinluil
to cake excellent growth. Because of the much smaller-than-usual i -o:ortion
of laribs born in January and Febr'. -r;, marketing before Juiy 1 will be
smaller than average, but these lambs will be of good quality.

In "..isouri, r-:turcs improved materially during A:i-il but were below
aver-.:e on iMy 1. The percentage of ewes that had lambed by May 1 in that
State was small, but the proportion of lambs saved .was lar,-.

Low temperatures during April held back the growth of r-.n-.e feed in
the :.rthwestern States, although moisture conditions were favorable. he
developIacnt of early l:.,b: continued rather unfavorable '.:i losses were
above ::.'*-:-e in April. Thu muarkeet movement of early lambs from this area
also I.. be i:l.ved somewhat.

.- ..-l'i nl_ from Tex-s .:.; ct..

r:.:- larbbs in Texas made ---1 growth duri-, April a.rd ma-i:-t:ings
were fairly large during the month. Lanbir., is .' :u over and the crop
this year r: -ably will exceed the record cr..' of last year. Marketings
of shorn year-i::-.- *:.1 wethers were very large in :.'r-il and .rct-.bly will
continue lar:- thr. :;h. June. Tctal mcrketir.fs of Trex.,s 1a.1 t and
from March f.r' .- Jr.. m .y c :ual or exceed the record movement for this
S-riod in 19>.



Background The following conclusions were
stated in the April issue of this report with
respect to the outlook for lambs:
(1) Prices of spring lambs are expected
to continue well above the levels of a year
earlier during May and June.
(2) The seasonal decline in new crop
lamb prices which usually begins in early June
is likely to start somewhat later than usual
this year.
(3) Marketings of new crop lambs frmcm
most areas will be smaller than a year earlier
until the end of June.
(4) Reduced marketing of spring lambs
in May and June will be accompanied by
unusually large marketing of Texas yearlings
and wethers.

There has been little change during the last month in the outlook for
suiplies and prices of lambs for the early summer. As indicated previously,
unfavorable weather and feed conditions have delayed the development of
early spring lambs, and marketing of such lambs will be relatively small
through June. Reduced marketing of spring lambs in this period, however,
are being accompanied by large marketing of grass-fat yearlings and
wethers from Texas.

Although the early lamb crop this year was somewhat smaller than that
of a year earlier, sheep and lambs generally are in good condition in the
Western States. Prospects for the late lamb crop are generally favorable
in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona. In other late lambing areas crop
prospects are rather favorable except where winter feed was short and in
local areas that had heavy snow. It is, of course, too early for an
indication of the size of the total United States lamb crop in 1937.

In view of the late development and delayed marketing of spring
limbs, it seems quite possible that marketing of early lambs may be large
in late July and August when late lambs begin to move to market in fairly
large volume. The seasonal increase in sla.u.ihter supplies of lambs after
July this year therefore may be greater than usual, with the proportion of
the lamb crop marketed after July 1 much above average.

Ordinarily prices of new crop lambs begin to decline in early June,
but in view of the small marketing expected before July it is probable
that the seasonal decline in prices of lambs will occur later than usual
this summer.


After declining in June and July, lamb prices usually do not
cl-h.r-e greatly froiL August to November. This year, with a larger-than-
usual number of early lambs being marked during the late lamb marketing
season, the seasonal decline in prices of lambs may continue into early
fall. Chnr'es in prices after July, however, will depend partly on the
demand which develops for feeder lambs.


The domestic wool situation has not changed materially in the past
month. A large part of the new domestic clip has been sold at prices
somewhat hi h:r than those of a year earl-cr and higher than at any time
since 1929. Demand for wool in both domestic and foreign markets has been
str.rn this year and world supplies are below ave-rage. Supplies later in
1937, however, will be governed by the now clip in the Southern Hemisphere
which will become available in the late summer and early fall. Little
change in domestic wool prices is probable during the next few months.

Trading in spot wools in the domestic market was very light in
.\' and prices were largely nominal and Prices paid for new
clip wools in producing areas the latter part of April showed little
change compared with late March quotations. ,'o.l prices in foreign
markeLs were firn to slightly higher in April, but weakened slightly in
early ':.,-,

Consumption of wool by United States mills in the first quarter of
19.-7 was greater than in the first quarter of any year since 1923.
Alth.j-.h there is as yet no indication of a reduction in mill consumption
in this country, it is possible that the high activity in recent months
may have been at the expense of activity later in the ,'.'r.

Stocks of apparel wool held by United States dealers and
manufacturers on March 27, totaling about 120,C0,3,000 pounds scoured basis,
were 14 percent larger than a year earlier. The reduction in suPplius
in Southern Hemisphere exporting countries, however, at the beginning of
.lril, was much larger than the increase in stocks in this country. Thu
1936-37 s-llir. season was practically over in the Southern Hcmir'here
at the end of April.

2/ .:-*c r; from The L1. oni and Price Situation, a monthly rycrt of
the Bureau of Agricultural ..conomics.


Price per 100 pounds of sheep and lambs, by months, February-April,




:Feb Mar. Apr. Feb. Mar.


SApr. Feb. : Mar.

:Dolls. Dolls. Dolls.

Lambs, Chicago:
Good and choice : 8.54
Corjon r' medium : 7.46
Ewes, Chic:igo:
-'ooid aid choice : 4.64
Corjmon i: medium : 3.70
Feedinji lab s,
Omah a:
Good and choice : 6.85
Average price- paid
by packer-s
She-cp -n.d lambs : 8.28
v,' i-r g: ico e
received by

Snr-i f : 3.78
L ,,tb : 6.65
L Cmbs, II-i' ork :

Choice : 17.69
Go,:,i : 16.61


Dolls. Dolls. Dolls. Dolls. Dolls. Dolls.

8.17 8.11 10.00 9.90 10.98 10.33 11.88 12.22
7.20 7.34 9.06 9.04 10.01 8.75 10.59 11.11


4.56 4.61 5.36 5.70 5.52 6.62
3.52 3.75 4.36 4.63 4.26 5.08

6.32 6.07 : 9.26

7.96- 7.62 8.86

8.87 9.05, 8.1


3.83 3.83 4.29 4.36
6.67 6.58 8.31 8.10




16. .3


10.08 10.20

9.78 9.88 10.99

4.48 4.45 4.81 4.98
8.46 8.12 8.83 9.19





M li ljo
Fet 1 1 coriosite
price -
F :c-od
F li id 'ool,
Boston :
Choice ..
Choice 'bIite B
ShCc-p pfe.lt3,packer
shear1:inL.s No. 1,
each '

: 24.11 24.04 23.59 24.37 23.98 25.99 22.62 24.75 27.07

: 70.8 68.8 67.5 98.9 97.0 93.2 120.0 113.5 113.8
: 56.2 57.0 58.0 82.0 80.2 78.1 103.5 96.0 98.0

s '

0.69 0.72 0.69 1.14

1.08 1.00 1.50

1.51 1.55

i' 30 pou nds down.
2, Cents per pound, scoured basis.

/ Bureau of Labor Statistics.





lll262 0861 5090lll
3 1262 08861 5090


Z,'rplies of Zhe:-p and lambs, year 193' and April 1937, ,vith comparisons

SYear M: Month
S: Apr. :
Item : Unit :Average 1935 : 1936 :averagepr. Mar. Apr.
--~~~ ~ ~ '5 13 aerg:,, ,


: :1924-33:

Inspected l.iurhter 1/:
:L.2. and lambs ....:
Receipts at seven
markets 2/ ..........:

thou- :
sands : 14,737 17,644 17,26:

l,i65 1,267 1,712 1,334

" :35,241 12,312 11,8" 2 3/1,3Ce 92 855 888

Year Io nit h
: : ;" l : Mar. : :
:Average: 135 : 36 :avurac. ,:Mar. .:F.. Mar.
1S24-33: : 24-?3:1h Q *.1 : 17

TrInz-ict,4. slaughter:
L-a 3 and ycarLir.s-: thou-
:.... .r .......... : sands 13,678 .-e of
total sheep and :
Lanibs ........ crc r :nt .1.8
Sheep : thu- :
Number ..........: sand : 1, 51
.percent.-- of
total sheep and :
lambs ..........:percent-: 7.2
Average live wecij-.t ..t pound 81
Aver-r. dressed ::C:e." 39

Tctal dressed .*: i ht :ml. lb. : 569

1 6,4'- 15,647

23.0 9 5.6'

1,244 1 ,56'

'.0 7.i

I."1 :E.

LO4C1 9.22 1,2-4 1 240

4.-1 *IL ;. ? 4.5

65 6,

,T C -
I. 4

81 72

o.2 5.5
. 190
4 41

47 c .54 54

"/ -ircx' of Animal Industry.

, ic:.rQo, Kansas City, :-.:ina, Denver, "T. .Josc'h., .iCi... Ci:y. .mnd St. Paul.

.. ,r .-.-.19 129-33.