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u;:_.-I ESiTEb DEPARTMENT OF AGnICULTURE
,* Bureau of Agricultural Economics
SLS-6 June 22, 1937
THE SHEEP AND LAMB SITUATION
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Some further decline in prices of lambs is expected within the next
few months as marketing of new crop lambs increase. The delayed marketing
of early lambs combined with the movement of late lambs the Bureau of
Agricultural Economics states, mayresult in a larger than usual increase in
supplies during late summer and early fall. Prospects for the late lamb
crop are favorable in most areas.
Prices of spring lambs were rather irregular in May and Early June.
During the third week of May prices reached the highest level thus far this
season and also the highest since 1929. A decline in lamb prices occurred
in late May followed by some recovery in early June, but there was a further
drop after mid-June. The higher lamb prices in May than a year earlier were
d'jo largely to increased wool and pelt values, since prices of dressed lamb
were below those of a year earlier.
Inspected slaughter of sheep and lambs in May was slightly larger than
in April and about 13 percent larger than in May last year. The increase
over a year earlier resulted largely from increased marketing of Texas
yearling lambs and spring lambs, since marketing of lambs from other areas
were relatively small ror this season of the year. The eastern movement of
early California lambs wa.s much smaller than last year and.was later than
usual, but the spring movriLmcnt'of grass fat yearling lambs .. au---
I DOCL TS DEPT
from Texas was about the largest on record. Shipments from Txxas are expected
to be about completed by the end of June. I ** '"
hLVItE.V OF RE,'..I.' .AL'LLOPMENTS
EACK 1'L..'T:D.- The early apri.rg Irr.b crop
was somewhat smaller than that of last year,
and .mar;ketings of such lambs have been delayed
to some extent because of unfavorable weather
and food conditions in late winter and early
spring. prices of spring lambs thus far this
season have boun $1 to 42 higher than those
of a year earlier. The market movement of fed
1.rbs (1936 crop) was practically conplcted
by early May. Prices of lambs during the fed-
lamb carketilL. season, Decomber-April 1936-37
averaged considerably higher than in an:.y year
prices of s ri:lr lambs fairly well maintained in May
Prices of spring lambs rose sharply during the second and third weeks
of May, rcaciing the highest level thus far in the current season. The
aver.,-: price of 0$12.63 per 100 pounds for g od afi choice spring lambs at
Kansas City for the week ended May 22 was the highest since 1929. In
last week of May prices declined about $1.25 from their peak, i:ut recovered
most of this loss in early June. After mid-June, however, prices a-Iin
declined. The higher l~.mb prices in May than a year earlier were due chiefly
to h,-h.r wool an;- pult values, since oricos of all gr..-ls of dressed lamb
were below those of a year cE.riier. Prices of slaughter ewes at Chic 'o
were steady during most of Eay but declined at the end of the month end in
Average price Fpr 100 pounds of Cocd and choice spring lambs, at
Kansas City, by weeks, May and June 1936-37
: 1936 : 1937
'<.k Gocd .nd : : : Good and :
ended choice : Choice : Good : choice ::Choice : Good
: vrage : : : average
: Dollars Dollars 1_o ll.r_ Dollars Dollars Dollars
May 1 ......... :
Juno 5 ........
11.02 10.45 11.72
11.15 10.58 11.90
Slaughter of sheep and lambs under Federal inspection in May,
totaling 1,371,000 head, was.3 percent larger than in April and 13 percent
larger than in May 1936., he increase over a year earlier was due largely
to the record movement of Texas grass fat yearling lambs and spring lambs,
since marketing of early lambs from other areas ere relatively small for
this season of the year. The peak of the spring movement from Texas
probably has been passed.
Although marketing of California lambs increased materially during
May, the number was much smaller than in the same month a year earlier.
Because of unfavorable weather and feed conditions, the early lamb crop in
California was smaller than that of a year earlier and was later than usual.
VMarketings of spring lambs from'the Southeastern States began in limited
volume in late..May and early June. The first sizable shipments of Idaho
spring lambs were received at mid-western markets in early June, and there
was some increase in.the supply of new crop native lambs.
Eastern movement of California spring lambs about completed
The peak.of the eastern movement of California lambs, which came in
late May, was about 2 weeks later than last year. The total eastern movement
to date, which is reported to have been practically completed by early
June, was about 30 percent smaller than the shipments of a year earlier.
Bccrtuse of unfavorable feeding conditions a larger than usual number of the
early lambs from California did not attain desirable slaughter weight.
The movement of gass fat yearling lambs and spring lambs from Texas
will be about completed by the end of June.
BACKGROUND.- The following conclusions
ore-statod in th-e May issue of this report-
with respect to the outlook for lambs:
(1) The seasonal decline in prices of
lambs which usually begins in early June
probably will occur somewhat. later than
usual this summer, and may be greater than
(2) Marketings of new crop lambs from
most areas will be smaller than a year
earlier until the on'd of June.
(3) In view of the late development and
delayed marketing of new lambs, 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 outlook for supplies of lambs has not changed greatly during the
last month. The delayed marketin;-s of early lambs combined wfth the movement
of late crop lambs may result in a larger than .usual increase in marketing of.
lambs in the late summer and early full. The extent of the seasonal increase
in the sl-Lughter of sheep and lanmbs during this period, however, will depend
partly upon the number of lamrbs which are purchased for feeding.
According to the Western Livestock and Range Report of June 1, ranges
are in fair to good: condition. Sheep are generally in good condition, except
in 1936 drought areas. In most.areas in the Western States prospects for late
lambs are fairly favorable, range and feed conditions having been improved
somewhat by recent rains. The development of early lambs has been retarded
to some extent in Idaho, Oregon and 'r"shin:ton.
Large supplies 'of good quality lambs from the Southeastern States
(Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia) and froee the Southern Corn Belt States
also are expected in the next 2 months. In goner-., feed conditions in areas
which usually furnish large lamb supplies during July and August are such as
to cnrco-ra- the production of good quality lambs, although the movement nay
be somewhat later than usual.
Crlinrvrily prices of lambs decline during June and July, ar.d by early
August reach a level which is fairly well maintained through ;Nvcmbcr. This
year with the later thin usual marketing, of new.-op lambs, it was expected
that decline in prices of lambs would occur somewhat later thne usual.
1.o-.ver, the drop in prices during the third week of June may be the beginning
of the usual sucncr decline. With a considerable seasonal increase in
marketir.n expected in late summer and early fall, a further decline in lamb
prices is probable within the next few months. The extent of this decline
will depend partly upon the demand which develops for feeder l orbs.
THE WOOL PPICZ SITUATION 1/
'.:ol prices declined in the United States in May at country points and
in the Boston market but remained well above those of a year earlier. Some
weakness also was rc:.irtcd in prices in foreign markets. In view of prospects
for continuation of a relatively high level of domestic mill consumption during
the early suuauer ,nd the pr.s~l.t short world supplies :.f wool, further idclines
in domestic wool prices during the summer months probably will be s-.all.
Sua;lies of ,-:.p.rel wool in the United States on May 1 prob.bl:y. were
larger than a year earlier but they were smaller than the average for the
rr:cci ir.- 10 y;,rs. Th-c increase over a year earlier was due entirely to
larger stocks of foreign -:;I-l in this country.
While some decline in the current high rate of ,ill c.-r.su.:-.tion may
occur during the second half of 1937, consumption probably will be fairly well
maintained during the early suucer in view of unfilled orders now on :-.nd.
SJ :i-ies now available in this country .ill not be sufficient for domestic
mill requirements during the remainder of the -present wool marketing year
iini C:.--rch 1938.
1/ Fr::.. the Denand an.d Price Situation, a monthly report of the Bureau of
Agricultural _c.:rnoLi cs.
Barring .a.dvcrse weather conditions in the next few months, it appears
probable that wool production in Australia, Now Zealand and the Uhion of South
Africa will be larger than in 1936. The increase will be offset in part,
at least, by a smaller carryover in the Southern Hemisphere at the end of the
current season. As yet there is.no definite indication of the size of the
coming clip in South American countries.
Supplies of sheep and lambs, year 1936 and May 1937, with comparisons
: Year :Month
: May :
Item : Unit Averagey ..May .Apr. .May
S1924-33: 1935 1936 average1936 1937 1937
S_____ __ 1924-33
slaughter 1/ :
Sheep and lambs...:thousands: 14,737 17,644 17,216 1,192 1,213 1,334 1,371
Receipts at seven :
markets 2/........: /15,241 12,312 11,892 /1,055 733 888 814
S: Year : Month.
Average Apr.Apr. Mar. .
: 1935 1936 averagee pr.
1924-33 : 1935 : 1936 ;9ag 936 :1937 :1937
Inspected slaughter.: -
Lambs & yearlings-:
Number .........:thousands: 13,678 16,400 15,647 1,081 1,196 1,240 1,256
total sheep and:
lambs ......... percent : 92.8 93.0 90.9 92.8 94.4 94.5 94.1
Ifuribr ........ :thousands: 1,059 1.,244 1,569 84 .-71 72 79
total sheep and:
lambs .........: percent : 7.2 7.0 9.1 7.2 5.6 5.5 5.9
Average live weight : pound : 81 84 85 84 88 90 87
Average dressed : 39 40 40 40 41 41 41
Total dressed :mil.lb. 569 701 680 46 52 54 54
i/ Bureau of Animal Industry.
2' Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, Denver, St. Joseph, Sioux City, and St. Paul.
3/ Average 1929-33.
UNIVERSiTr OF FLORIDA
II I I I I I II II I IIIIII I II
3 1262 08861 5082
Fric.; p.r 100 pounIls of shc-cp -mi la-.bs, by: months, March-May 1935-37
S 1935 : 1936 : 1937
Cl-czific-.tion -- ".- -
.I!'r. Apr. Llay .'Er. .Apr. : a.y .Mar. :Apr. ,May
:Dolls.Dolls.Dolls. Dolls.Dolls.Dolls. Dolls.Dolls.Dolls.
Lw-bZs, Chic-\o :
Good 'n.l ChICC ....: 3.17 8. il
Coor-or. ..nd : ir.. : 7.2J 7.34
E..cs, Chi c -,o:
Good &.:i chiic.....: 4.07 4 .56
C'L.co. .i.d L.c liu=.. : 3 .2 3.52
F -ciinr i ...s, tn- :
Gon~d r.1 chric. ... 6.32 6.07
,Aver ;-i. -.1' b:,
3Sh2r r-. J: .. .... : 7.'6 7.62
A'.'ra .: rric.: rc- ,iv. :
by far. jr. :
2 11 ;- . . j
aL.bs ...............: 3.,3 3.
La.Ibs .............. : 6.7 6 6.5
Lw=b, Uo.-. Ycri :
.''.: l.*01 .3,.1 Cc .:G.-;S3 :
C.oicl ..... ........ :16.'5 1i 5..,6
G. o ................ :1 ; 15.70'
:.. u. .............. : i4.?0 14.
z.il c .r : ).-ic .., price :
Gcod .............. .04 2.5
P'i 1 1 d v*o : 1 ,:,- s t:n ,/ :
Choice .-.; .......... : 67.5,
C .o .. ... *: .... :57.v 5.3.0
.... ,.;, p lts, r-c1 :.ra' :
sh -.r.in-., to. 1,
.-ch ......... ....0.72 0.69
9.90 10.98 1/10.26 11.88 12.22 1/9.99
9.04 10.01 i,' 0.83 10.59 11.11 1/8.42
3.41 5.36 5.70
2.28 4.36 4.o3
4.48 6.62 5.67
3.36 5.08 4.17
--- 8.07 ?.C5 3.)9 10.08 10.20
7.57 9.39 9.76 9.7b 10.99 10.92
3.6? 4.36 4.:.8 4.30 4.81 4.93 4.89
6.5? 8.10 8.46 8.59 8.33 9.19 9.16
23.i1 23.53: 25.?I)
27.35 ?4.75 27.-7
7.1 37.0 93.2 91.2 113.5 113.3
o).4 60.2 73.1 75. 96.0 98.0
1.C:8 1.oo 1.05 1.51 1.55
1/ Shorn basis.
2/ 38 pounds dowm.
S Cents pur pound,scoured b-sis.
/ E-.rr u of Labor ot:.tistics.
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