U IT3D STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Bureau of Agricultural Economics
SLS-10 October 20, 1937
THE SHEEP AND LAMB SITUATI ON
Marketings of fed lambs in the fed-lamb season, from December 1937
through April 1938, probably will be larger than a year earlier. Total
slaughter supplies of sheep and lambs in this period, however, may be no
larger than in 1936-37, the Bureau of Agricultural Economics states, as
supplies from sources other than feed lots are expected to be smaller. In
the Corn Belt States, the number of lambs fed this fall aid winter will be
considerably larger than the number fed last year, but some reduction in
lamb feeding in the Western States this year now appears probable.
The price of slaughter lambs at the beginninJ of the 1937-38 fed lamb
season in December probably will be somewhat higher than that of a year
earlier. Although some seasonal advance in prices of fed lambs may occur in
the January April period next year, it is not likely to be as great as
the rise in those months in 1937. The average price of slaughter lambs in
the fed-lamb marketing season of 1937-38 may be lower than in 1936-37, in view
of the probable weaker demand for meats and wool.
Although a slight decline in prices of lambs occurred during September,
prices strengthened somewhat in the first half of October. The average price
of Good and Choice lambs per 100 pounds at Chicago for the week ended October
_Ij L' i h L LiT L
16 was over $1.50 higher than a year earlier. Prices of fc do y
to higher during September, despite some weakness in price o0 sl-aughtfr-ambs
U S DEPOSITORS
Slaughter of shce[ and lambs under Federal inspection in September totaling
1,670,000 head, was 12 percent larger than in Auujt this year and 5 Fprcont
larger than in Scptc-ribcr 1936. The larger slaughter in September than in
August was accounted for mostly by increased marketing of r:r.E lambs.
REVIEW OF RECI!T D7hELE.PMZSrS
5..cI;R''Ui.D.- From mid-July through August, prices of
cl'iuLhtcr Inmbs showed little not change, after declining
in late June and early July. The monthly average price ,f
Good and Choice lambs per 100 pounds at Chicr.gc of ^10.,4
in July and $10.78 in August, was about $1 highi-i- than in
the same months last year and was the highest for these
months since 1929. Slaughter supplies of sheep and lambs
from May through August 1937 were larger than a year earlier
chiefly because of the larg..r marketing of yearlings from
Texas. Marketings of new crop lambs in this period were
less than a year earlier.
Prices decline slightly in September
The average price of Good and Choice lambs at Chic?.:c in Sc.tember of
$10,56 was about 20 cents lower than in ..u-ust, but it was $1.20 higher than thL
':vc,,r.f. for Sept ..-bir 1936. The weekly average price of Good and Choice at
Chicago fluctuated considerably during Sc.tenber and in early October, but
after declining to $10.20 early in the latter month it recovered during the
week ended October 16 to $10.52, Prices of s1.iu-ht.r owes .'v.r--i lower in
3es.tcrber than in August but they were considerably higho-r than in Se:tc.bcr
last year. Prices of feeder lambs duri-.- Scptember were steady to hirh.:r
despzitc some weakness in prices of 3laughter larbs.
_lukh sur-nlics increase seasonally
Slaught-r of sheep and lambs under FLidral inrsLction totaling
1,670,1":'1 head in Scptember was 12 rcc:r.t larger than in August and 5 percent
larger than in September 1936. A s asonal increase in markctings of range
laI-bs accounted for most of the increase. In the first 5 months of the
current :.srk!:tir.; season (May through Sei:tcr.lr) in s.-cted sl'ughtcr of sheep
and lambs was 7 -.--rcn-t inrcr than that of the corres-:;.din. months of 1936.
Most of the increase over a year earlier, however, was the result .:f the
record marketings of yoarlir.s from Tcxas in :.Ly, Juno and July.
Range conditions little changed in SeAtember
Western range and pasture conditions continued poor to very good, with
little change during September. Dry conditions continued in the Western
Great Plains, with some improvement in southwestern ranges. Range feed is
good in western sections of Colorado and Montana and in Wyoming, New Mexico,
Nevada, Utah, Washington and Oregon. Ranges are below normal in eastern
Colorado, northern California and Arizona and are dry in southern Idaho.
Ranges in the main sheep area of Texas were only fair and moisture was badly
needed to make winter feed. Sh-ep and lambs continue in very good condition
in range areas. Lambs are showing good weights, and there is a smaller
proportion of lambs in feeder flesh from northern ran-, areas than last year.
BACKGROUND.- The following conclusions were given
in the September issue of the Sheep and Lamb
Situation with respect to the outlook for supplies
and prices of lambs:
*(1) Prices of slau:htcr lambs are not
expected to chn-c much from August through
(2) Lamb prices in the coming fed-lamb
marketing season (December through April 1937-38)
probably will average about as high as those of
last year, if consumer demand and prices of wool
are maintained near present levels.
(3) An increase in marketing of fed-lamb
supplies from the Corn Belt is probable during
the coming fed-lamb marketing season, but total
slaughter supplies of sheep and lambs may be no
greater as marketing from sources other than
fcedlots may be smaller than last year during this
Expect fed lambs to average lower than in 1936-37
The only change which has dcvclopcd in the outlook since publication of
the Septembor issue is that it now a~. ars prc-b:blo that the demand for moats
and wool in the fed-lamb markctin(; season from December 1937 through April 1938
will not be so strong as it was a year earlier. Consequently, prices of fed
lambs for the coming season may avcragc lower than in the 1936-37 season.
Prices of fed lambs at the beginning of the new marketing season in Deccmb.r
this ycar probably will be somewhat higher than a year earlier, but the
seasonal advance in prices of lambs in the late winter and early spring is not
expected to be as great as that which occurred from January through April 1937.
i.ar7:_r markLt in- of fed lambs than year ago _
The supply of fed laI available for market for the fed-lab marketing
season, Dece:mber 1937 through April 1'3, probably will be larger than that
of 1936-37. The r.urber fed in the Corr. Belt probablyly will be larger than a
.*:ar earlier in view of the much larger production and lower prices of
feeds in that area.' The movement of feeder lambs into the Corn E2lt in
.A'-jst and Septomber was larger than a year earlier, when lamb fe-ding was
restricted because of short food supplies resulting from drought.
The number of lambs f:d in the '.".'stern States this fall ?.n2 winter will
be smaller than the relatively l-rc number fc! in that area last season.
The largest rduc-ion in lamb feeding probably will occur in the r.,ion
west of the continrnt!l Divide. The number of lambs contracted for fall
delivery in the Western States during the late su:mor probably was larger than
in a-.- other recent :.-c-r. 7: large s-los of lambs for fall delivery in the
Western States accounts in :-lrt for the reduced feeding in -.ro:c.,ct in
several S-.tots, since the number of lambs rc::.ai..i: in the area will be
sn:.l'er than a year earlier.
S..ipmrnts of feeder lambs from Texas direct to feeders in other States
in .'.uL.ct eand 3- teiber were much the lar-----t on record, and movement
:rorb'lly continued heavy in October. Shipments to other areas in Texas for
feeding and for grazing on wheat pastures also were large.
Total sl-.;1t:r supolics may be no_ lr-_-cr
It is expctcd that the increase in la.fb f::l-.: in the Corn :Alt l.ill
offset or more than offset the reduction in the Toetcrn States so that
market i:., : of fed lamrbs in the late fall and winter m.y be larger than a year
earlier. Total sl:-hi.:cr supplies of sheep ~and labs in the 1J37-38 fd-la-mb
marketing season (Decobcr-'. ril), howcver, may be no larger than those of
year carli-r since narketings of sheeo and lambs fro.: sources other that f.cd-
lots arc expected to be smaller.
THE T700L E-T?? 3E I ..A1.OI 1/
Wool prices declined in the adoaestic eCarket in Scetember but quot.tior.s
were l:.r:-ly nominal in view of the light tr:.i:.;. The ;wakness in the
domestic market furi:.- the past month was preceded a;y a decline in price; in
forcizm markets, ,'.- domestic price outlook for the next few months is
sornewhat uncertain because -F the unsettled c.-r.tions in f:rci :- ..-.rkcts.
Tool prices in 19'y", however, are expected to be lower than the relatively:
hi-. prices s of 1937. :-.:a.tic stocks of ra7 wool are below average, but r.ill
demornd for wool in this country is somewhat weaker than a :c-r earlier.
_/ 7r:.. the Octcber issue of the .:...a.. -:-d FricL Situation, a monthly report
of the .-r: .J of Agricultural Economics.
The total supply of apparel wool in the Ui.ited States on September 1
plus the part of the domestic production which will become available in the
next few months was about 15 percent larger than a year earlier, when supplies
were unusually small, but it was smaller than the average for September 1
in other recent years. The increase in supplies this year as compared with
a year earlier is due chiefly to larger imports in 1937. Imports of apparel
nool for consumption in the first 8 months of 1937 were about 80 percent
larger, than in the same months of 1936 and were the largest for those months
Consumption of apparel wool on a scored basis by United States mills
in the first 8 months of 1937 was 8 percent larger than in the same months
of 1936 and was the largest for the 8-month p-riod since 1923. From April
through July, however, the decrease in consumption was greater than usual.
Consumption in the last 4 months of this year is likely to be considerably
smaller than in the corresponding months of last year.
:Total supplies from the Southern Hemisphere in the 1937-38 marketing
season which is now open prob-bly will show a slight increase over the
previous season. The ir.crease in production which a-ipc.rs to be fairly
general for the five principal producing countries will more than offset
the decrease in end-of-season stocks in thoQs countries. Total supplies in
1937-38, however, are not expected to exceed the average for the five seasons
1931-32 to 1935-36.
Supplies of sheep and Izat, year 1936 and September 1937,
Item 1Unt e Sept. Sopt. Aug. Sept.
1924-33 1935 ; 13 :a1936 : 1937: 1937
Inspected slaughter 1/:
Sheep and 1:.zob ....:thousands: 14,7- ? 17,644 17,216 1,380 1,593 1,492" 1,671
Receipts at seven'
mr::cts 2/ .........: :Q/15,241 12.312 11,592 3/1, '2 1, C 1,158 1,466
Year Mont h
S. : : : Aug.
Average: 1935 : 1936 :average:Aug" :July Aug.
: 1924-33: : :192433:1936 :1937 :1937
Lambs and yearlings-:
Number ......... thol:3.sans:
total sheep and:
lambs ......... percent
:. :nb.r ......... thou s.ri :
total sheep and:
lambs ......... : percent
Average live wei':.t ..:
Aver:. ..: dr :ss .i "-ig t:
13,670 16,401 15,647
1,203 1,265 1,308 1,343
93.0 90.9 92.8 90.7 94.0 39.7
.'.. 81 84
n 4 4.0
Total dressed .-. i rt : mil.lb. :
94 129 83 155
7.2 9.3 6.0 10.3
7: .j 30 82
37 :7 38 39
48 52 53 58
/ BLur: -iu of Animal Industry.
2/ Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, Denver, St. Joseph, Sioux City, and St. Paul.
3/ Average 1929-33.
Price per 100 pounds of sheep and lambs, by months, July September
1935 1936 1937
Classification July :Aug. :Sept. July :Aug. 'Spt.:July : Aug. Sept.
Good and Choice .....:
Common and Medium....:
9.34 9.94 9.53 9.33
7.86 7.72 7.20 7.31
Good and Choice .....: 2.92
Common and Medium ....: 2.05
Feeding lambs, Omaha:
Good and Choice .....: 6.63
Average price paid by
Sheep and lambs .....: 7.52
Average price received
Sheep ...............: 3.50
Lambs ........ .....: 6.26
Lamb, New York:
Wholesale carcass 1/-:
Good ........... :23.61
Pulled wool, Boston 2/:
Clhoice AA ...........: 80.5
Choice White B ......: 70,0
Shocp pelts, packers
shc,.rlings, No. 1,
each / .............: 0.56
3.20 3.46 3.83 3.50 3.37
2.35 2.63 2.47 2.25 2.17
7.85 3.53 7.76 7.61 7.55
4.22 4.70 4.04
2.86 3.32 3.01
7.65 8.34 8.69 8.29 8.22 9.60 9.34
3.77 4.00 3.69
7.23 7.94 7.59
23.68 25.35 28.20 27.19 27.14
92.8 92.0 92.0 106.9
77.6 76.2 77.0 89.6
0.56 0.62 1.14 1.10 1.02
1/ 33 pounds down.
2. Cents per pound.
9,1 Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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