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UNITED STATES DEP.',.T".:!.T OF AGRICULTURE
Bureau of Agricultural Economics
Wash i ngton
July 21, 1937.
THE SHEEP AND LAMB SITUAT ION
Slaughter supplies of sheep and lambs probably will continue larger
than a year earlier until at least September, according to the Bureau of
Agricultural Economics. In contrast to conditions last year, when drought
delayed the finishing of lambs for market in many areas after June, ranges
Sand pastures generally favor.a rapid finishing of this year's delayed lamb
crop. Conditions before June were similar this ':.-r and last year, in that
early lambs were delayed by unfavorable weather and poor pastures. A larger
than usual seasonal increase in the marketing of la, bs from the Corn Belt
and from the Western States is probable in the late summ.r. r..LJihter
supplies during this period, however, will depend partly upon t he number of
lambs which are purchased for, feeding.
The seasonal incline in lamb prices which started about mid-June was
similar to the decline inthe same period last year except that it began
slightly earlier this year. Prices of the better grade of lambs in early
July .were about $1 per 100 pounds higher than a year earlier. Feeder lamb
prices were well maintained'during most of J.unL, advancing somewhat late in
that month and in early July. Prices of slaughter ewes also strengthened in
late June and early July.
U,'E OF FL LIE6
DLCUJMEI NT. DEPT
( U.S DEPOSITOR.
The sl:;ught.r o1' 1,425,0'j h,.-.d of shop and laUb.. under Federal
inspection in June was 4 pnrrcr.t larger than in May and 9 percent larger than
in June 1936. '.1It,,Iugh supplies of spring lambs were relatively scarce in
early June, markutings vore expanded later in the month by increased receipts
from the Southeastern States and from Idaho. Though receipts of Texas la-mbs
in Juno and early July were smaller than in May, they continued corLsidcr :bly
larger than a year earlier.
.5''/I'' OF REZ.:T. D2-VELOPiJENTS
~B.'.CI.C The early spring 1,r.b crop was
somewhat smallr than that of last year. The
development of these labs was delayed by un-
favorable weather and feed conditions in the
late winter and early spring and rarketin-s
were light through early June. Prices from
April through uid-June were maintained at a
level about $1 to $2 higher than those of a
Prices of labs declined seasonally in recent weeks
The seasonal decline in laub prices vThich started about mid-June
carried the weekly avcr-l7~, pricu of good and choice lar.s at Chic-Ao front
;.2.66 in the week ended June 12, to $10.93 in the week ..nd-d July 3. This
decline in prices "-.. :.:.tly resulted from a considerable increase in
rmarketings in the last half of June. It had been expected earlier that the
seasonal increase in supplies of lambs would be snall until July. A
recovery to $11.43 was recorded in the week ended July 10, but further
declines occurred about nid-July. In carly July prices of 1-..b' generally
continued about $1 i.i;hcor than a year earlier. Feeder la.b prices were
well uaintcair.-d durinCg iiost of June, rdvanciw: somewhat late in the uonth
and in early July to a loval hiCher than that of a year earlier. Prices of
s.]:.ugh;her evos also str,-r., 'hcnodi in 1.te June and ealy July. Prices of
lamb carcasses showed only slight changes. In June such prices were
lower than those of a year earlier, but in early July they vere about the
sane as a year earlier since a rather h -.r decline in such prices occurred
in late June and early Jly of last year.
Average price per 100 pounds of Good and Choice spring lambs
at Chicago, by weeks, May July, 1936-37 i/
Week Average :
ended : Good : :
end: d Choice Good
2/ : Choice :
: Dollars Dollars Dollars
.....: 11.52 11.80 11.25
.....: 11.90 12.14 11.65
..... 12.14 12.39 11.90
July 3 .....: 9.92
Dollars Dollars Dollars
Quotations based on ewe and wether lambs.
1937; corresponding weeks 1936.
Effective July 6, 1306, spring lambs classified as lambs.
Lamb supplies increase seasonally in June
Slaughter of sheep and lambs under 7Fderal ir.spec'ion totaled
1,425,000 head in June, or 4 percent more than in May and 9 percent more
than in June 1936. Although supplies of spring lambs were relatively scarce
in early June, being confined largely to native lambs, marketing were
expanded sharply about the middle of the month by increased receipts from
the Southeastern St-:tes, the Corn Belt and Idaho. Fed California lambs
moved in moderate volume during June, and the first Oregon lambs were marketed
during that aonth. The first "7ashington lambs arrived at mid-western markets
in early July. June marketing of yearlings and spring lambs from Texas,
although smaller than in ;-ly, continued considerably larger than a year
earlier in June and early July.
Western lamb contracting~ a slow
The number of labs sold on contract for fail delivery in the westernn
States '.as relatively small ,. 'to mid-July. Ppc-ts indicate that some
lambs have been bou, ht on contract in W7ycming and Utah largely by western
feediing interests, at rrlces of S to $8.25 per 100 pounds. Most contracts
provide for a minimum ;:ci-~ht of 45 pounds per :,.ad, and trade interests
*-:.:Cct *..c i-hts to be equal to or heavier than av'.-raje, A fairly broad
inquiry is rc orted in several -;estern areas for "feeder lambs for future
delivery, with bids up to '.: p 100 pounds.
E.-.C!:l ?l The follow'n.- conclusions were
stated in 'the Juno issue of this report with
r.:-,cct to the outlook for lambs:
1. ;.:~rket ir.;- of lambs may be
'relatively large in late sum.ner and early fall--
when the delayed marketing of early lambs-and
'the movenmint of late la'ubs ar expected to result
in a larger than usual increase in Isul'lies.
2. A further seasonal decline in la;ab
prices is'probable within the'next few months,
'the extent of which'will depend partly upon the-
demoand which develops for feeder la.ibs.
3. Food conditions in areas which
Usually furnish largo lamb s j'.liiz during July
and August are such as to encourage the production
of good quality lImbs.
The outlook has been uodifiod only slightly since the June issue.
It now succ.s probable that sl-.'uhtr supplies of sheep and 1: bs will
continue lar 'r than a year earlier until So .te;..ber at least. In contrast
to conditions last year when draught lelayed the finirhiinr. of lamrbs for -,arket
in many areas after June, r-::. .z and pastures -r.i.-rally favor a rapid
:-.i.:;:i.- of this year's delayed lamb crop. Conditions before Juno wVore
similar this year -a.d last year in that early laribs were delayed by
unfavorable weather and poor pastures. Since Imb prices declined sharply in
the last half of June and continued to wo:ken in the first h.-lf of July,
a l-.r-c part of the seasonal decline -_F.rL.rc.itly has taken pl.coe at about
the usual time. The extent of further declines in prices of lambs in the nxrt
few months will depend partly u'* n the demand which develops for fer.i. r lambs.
I/ In-.s.;uch ca. the 1937 lamb crop rr. rt will not be released until late
July, the August issue of this report will contain more comprehensive
information on the Outlook for lambs. Attention also will be devoted
to cutlzcok f r wool prices and production in this issue. A separate
r-- :rt on the suu:nr -utlcok for Sheep, lambs and wool will not be
idiCi this year.
According to the Western Livestock and Range Report of July 1,
condition of ranges and pastures generally showed marked improvement after
early June rains. Feed prospects are good on suramer sheep ranges, except
in the Northern Great Plains. Range conditions are average or better in
the mountain sections and States west of the main range, but some of the
lower ranges are drying rapidly in Idaho, Utah and. Nevada. Ranges are good
in western Mo-ntana .and Colorado and are very good in Wyoming and New Mexico.
Conditions are poor,-however, along a wide belt extending from central
I.orin ana into -western North Dakota, south through western Kansas and
NebracEka, and into Texas and Oklahoma, where some improvement in early June
as -checked by hot dry weather which followed.
The condition of sheep aid lambs is good in most of the range States
and is very .:.ol in the 7.'.stern areas which will furnish a large portion
of the lambs marketed during the next few months. Better feed resulted in
a decided i::roirc.,ivj nt in the condition of sheep and lambs in Oregon and
Washington. Sheep conditions are good to very good in Utah, "*....nin. and
Marketings of lambs from the Corn Bolt are expected to increase
seasonally in the next 2 or 3 months. Crop conditions now appear such
as to encourage a fairly normal finishing and marketing of lanibs from this
area in late summer and fall. If corn crop prospects continue favorable
a fairly broad demand for feeder lambs may develop in the C''rn Belt during
the fall months.
Lamb marketing from southeastern ar-ies are c:;pC:cted tc continue
rather large for a few weeks. Although nost of the Tennessee lambs apparently
have been marketed, shipments from Kentucky and Virgir.ia probably will
continue in fair volume in late July and early .i-,jut, since a larger than
usual pro.i.. rtion of lambs in this area wvor late. The movement of lambs
from T'.::s will pr-b .bly decrease considerably in the next few months
following the recent large marketing.
THE WOOL PRICE SITUATION -
There was little activity in the domestic wool market i1riini June.
Prices of medium wools were slightly higherat country points the latter part
of the month, but quotations at Boston were l'-rgely nominal. Since world
supplies of wool are below average for this season of the year and demand
conditions in this country and abroad continue rather favorable, little change
in wool prices is expected prior to the opening of the new Southern Hemisphere
selling season in Sopteaber. Present prospects indicate that wool prcducti n
in Southern Hemisphere countries will be larger than that of last year.
2/ From the Demand and Price Situation, a monthly report of the Bureau of
Consumption of apparel wool in the United States in the first 5
months of 1937 vas almost 20 percent l:rg:.- than a year earlier andwas
larger than in the sac.e months of any year since 1923. In vii:w of the
very high level of nill consumptior ;ince early 1935: it i possible that
in the past Y '.r there has ban some r.a::'.ul-.tion of f.s:.,sh..- vwol gods
in the several ch nnels of trade. :'.ocl prices in this ccuitry are now
soncLWat -.i :i; than in 1929, 'here-'. prices of -thor t extillo nz-trials
(cotton, rcycn and silk) are lo.er. This price rel-.tinship does not
favor a continuation of the present 1hi'- 1.vl rf c-!.- ..-tio:. cf wel.
h:c.ce., it dc.:s not ..: -.r likely that :uill co.A,-. :tirn 7f ap- rol vol
in the last half of 1937 will be sc large as ir the ccrresp-nding period
General impcrts cf apparol w-ol int- the "Tited States in the first
5 amnths of 197 vicre larger than in the sare iriod of any year since
1 ?6. The large purchases by the United States ,ere i;. i:lp-tfant factor
in the almost complete clearance of the 1936-37 clip in the Southern
a- is3heror at prices which were Li-:ir th than tse of the previous season.
In view of the present relatively s..all domestic supplies, United States
r--rts cf *.;ol in the first half -' 193_ :.ay be fairly large :. Vith
:r -.rcts for a decline in r:ill concun:ptir:. later this year, hrovev-r,
imports are not likely to c ual thoc "if the first half of the current
Supplies of sheep- and laribs,-year 1936 and June 1937, with comparisons
Year : Month
: n :t veag :-June
Iten : Unit "1 g 9- 1935 1936 : avorage:June May : June
: 4- : 1924-33:1936 :1937 :1937
*Inspected slaughter I/: thou-
Shocp and labs ....: sands
,Receipts at e-.'i.
markets 2/.........: "
:14,737 17,644 17,216 1,216 1,309 1,371 1,425
:3/15,241 12,312 11,892 3/ 818 597 814 682
Year : Month
SAverage : May r Apr.: May
1924-33:1935 : 196 :average:1936 :1937 :1937
Lambs and yearlings
total sheep and
total sheep .and
13,678 16,400 15,647
1,081 1,101 1,256 1,263
90.7 90.8 94.1 92.2
111 112 79 107
9.2 5.9 7.8
Average live weight ..: pound : 81 84 85 80 81 87 82
Average dressed weight: : 39 40 40 38 39 41 40
Total dressed weight .:nli.lb.:
46 47 54 54
1/ Bureau of Aninal Industry.
2/ Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, Denver, St. Joseph, Sioux City, and St. Paul.
3/ Average 1929-33.
Price per 100 pounds --f shuep and 1ITrb, by months, April-June, 1935-37
S 1935 : 1936 : 1937
Apr. !Icy June
JunLu ,pr. May Juno
Dclls. Dolls.Dolls. Dolls.
Good and choice 8.11
C"n.:oln & cmdium 7.34
Ew.cs, Chic-.'- :
Good and chrice...: 456
Cono n & modiur....: 3.52
Good and choice ..t 6.07
Aver-.gc price p-id
Sheep -...d. l.a s...: 7.62
Aver..?o price received
r.c;-p ........... : 3.83
Lambs ............: 6.5C
Lamb, New York:
Vholesale carcass 3/
Retail, co::po sit e
PJlled :-.onlgoston 4/:
Choice :.. .......: 67.5
Choice :1.ite E ...: 58.0
Sheep pelts,packers :
shearlings, N. 1 :
each 5/...........: 0.69
2/8.56 10.98 1/10.26 2/11.44 12.22 1/9.99 2/11.94
--- 10.01 1/ 8.88 2/ 9.32 11.11 1/8.42 2/10.42
3.41 2.82 5.70
2.28 1.86 4.63
4.48 3.45 5.67
3.36 2.28 4.17
--- 9.05 8.99 8.60 10.2
7.46 9.78 9.76 9.66 10.92
3.64 4.48 4.30 4.03 4.93
6.52 .46' 8.59 3.33 *9.19'
23.81 24.54 25.99 27.85
93.2 91.2 93.1 113.8
78.1 75.5 7j.1 93.0
57 1.:^ 1.05
Si.: r:- basis. 2/e/N crop.
38 pounds donm; prices for May 1937, b,.secd solely 'n -ld cr'p l-.r;bs -.vere:
Choice, l19.96; G-od, $1.'?0; Hodiur., t17.82.
C.nts per ,'.:,l.
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- O -
IIrI2I8llrll iH 111
3 1262 08861 4937
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