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
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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
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Related Items

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

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Bureau of Agricultural Economics

June 20, 1938



Pr~oe:.t indications are that the lamb crop in the Native Sheep

States, in Idaho, and the Pacific Coast States, which supply most of the

lambs for summer slaughter, is larger this year than last, Hence,

marketing of new-crop lambs this summer probably will be larger than

in the summer of 1937, says the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, although

the number of grass-fat yearlings to be marketed from Texas is expected to

be smaller.

Prices of lambs are expected to "decline seasonally during the summer

months, as market, supplies of new-crop lambs increase. Continued weakness

in the-consumer demand for meats is in prospect for the summer.

Marketings of both old-crop shorn lambs and early spring lambs were

relatively large in May. Inspected slaughter of sheep and lambs was the

second largest for the month on record. -prices of lambs were slightly

lower in May than in April. And prices of spring lambs at Chicago in May

were nearly 30 percent lower than in May 1937. Weakness in the consumer

demand for meats and relatively low prices of pelts and wool have been

the factors chiefly responsible for the low level of sheep and lamb prices

this year. OLDEPT




BACK'I.GOUID.- During the fed-lamb marketing
season (Deccmber-April) packers paid
$51,000,000 for sheep and lambs slaughtered
under Federal inspection, $12,000,000 loss
than in the corresponding period a year
earlier, The live weight of inspected sheep
and lamb laughter during this period,':g S47 million pounds, vas about the
same as a year earlier. But prices paid
were 20 percent lower, and lowest since the
1932-33 fed-larb marketing season. Weakness
in consumer demand for meats and reduced prices
for pelts and wool largely accounted for the
relatively low level of sheep and lamb prices.

Prices of lambs decline slightly in May

With an increase over April of 9 percent in inspected sheep and
lamb slaughter, prices of both shorn and spring labAs at Kansas City in
May were slightly lower than a month earlier. At Chicago, prices of
old-crop shorn larbs vere coparativoly stable during the first 3 weeks
of May, but declined rather sharply toward the end of the month.
Prices of spring lambs at Chicago, on the other hard, -idvaincd moderately
in late rAvy and early June.

Prices of good and choice spring lambs at Chicago averaged about
$8,90 per 100 pounds in May, $3.70 lower than a year earlier.

Sheep and lamb slaluhter large

Marketings of both old-crop shorn lambs and early spring labs
were relatively largo in May. Fed wooled lambs continued to be marketed,
but in small volume, until about the middle of the month. The number of
sheep and lambs claughtercd under Federal inspection totaled 1,550,000
head, 13 percent rore than in May 1937 -Jid the second largest for the
month on record.

Out-of-state shipL.ants of early spring lambs from California for
the season through June 4 totaled about 421,000 head compared with
357,000 head in the corrs3poniding period a year earlier, Most of the
increase in shipuonts occurred in May, and the eastern movement was
nearly completed by early June. A considr.rablc number of such lambs were
shorn and pastured locally this year.

Shimncnts of early Texas lambs and grass-fat ycerlings in May wore
larger than average for the month. But total shipments of sheep and lambs
from Texas were smaller than the record large shipments of May 1937.


Condition of sheep and lambs above average

Except in New Mexico, where some ranges are dry, western sheep and
lambs made good gains during May.. In nearly all of the 1cstorn States,
the condition of the crop on June 1 was considerably above average for that
date. Winter and spring losses of sheep and lambs were smaller than a year
earlier, and below the average of recent years. Early sumner sheep ranges
are generally good, with better feed than a year ago in the northern areas
and in Texas.

-Early lambs have developed well in Texas, Oregon, and Washington,
and fairly well in Idaho. A good crop of late lambs is reported in the
northern sections of the Western Sheep States, and a larger crop than last
year in Texas.

In the Native Sheep States, sheep aid lambs generally wintered well
and were in better-than-average condition this spring. And with the
condition of pastures on June 1 the best for that date in several years,
except in limited areas of the eastern Gulf Coast States, market supplies
of new-crop native lambs probably will be relatively largo this year.


Present indications are that the lamb crop in the Native Sheep States,
in Idaho, and the Pacific Coast States, which supply most of the lambs for
summer slaughter, is larger this year and generally has made better growth
than a year ago. Hence, marketing of new-crop lambs this summer probably
will be larger than in the summer of 1937. But the number of yearlings to be
marketed from Texas is expected to be smaller than the unusually large
number marketed a year ago,

Recent reports from the Western States indicate that there has been
practically no contracting of feeder lambs for fall delivery. And the
demand for stock sheep has been relatively weak.

Prices of lambs are expected to decline seasonally during the sumner
months, as grass-fat supplies increase. Because of the present relatively
low price level, the decline in lamb prices may be somewhat less than
average. But the percentage decline may be about as great. Continued
weakness in.the consumer demand for meats is in prospect for the'sunner.



Little change in domestic wool prices is expected in the next few
months. Favorable factors in the domestic wool situation include the
apparent strength in foreign prices in the past 2 months and the stabilizing
influence of the loan program of the Federal Government for domestic wools.
Unfavorable factors include the present relatively large supplies of wool
in this country and in foreign countries and the current low rate of domestic
mill consumption with a relatively small volume of unfilled orders held by
tills. Mill consumption in foreign countries has continued to decline,
although the decline has not been so great as in the United States.

The spread between domestic and foreign prices of wool is now
somewhat less than the United States tariff on wool, and imports have been
very small in recent months. Supplies of wool now on hand in the United
States plus the new domestic clip probably are considerably in excess of
domestic mill requirements for the remainder of 1938. Hence, wool imports
probably will continue small during the rest of the year.

Mill buying of domestic wools at Boston in May was even smaller than
in April. The curtailed buying, together with offerings at country points
at prices below Boston quotations was accompanied by slight declines in
prices of spot wools at Boston.

The weekly rate of mill consumption of apparel wool in the United
States in April was less than half as large as in April 1937 and with the
exception of 1932 was the lowest April consumption in the past 21 years.
Consumption in the first 4 months of 1938 was the smallest for those
months in the 21 years of record. Some iuproveaent in mill sales of wool
goods was reported by the New York Wool Top Exchange service in the latter
part of May. But orders forfaaU season wear to date are reported to be small
compared with those of the past 2 years.

It now appears probable that the quantity of wool carried over in
Southern Hemisphere countries at the beginning of the 1938-39 season in
Septcriber will be larger than usual. Apparent supplies on May 1 were
about 45 percent larger than a year earlier when supplies were fairly small
and nearly 30 percent larger than the May 1 average for the 5 years, 1932- 36.
Latest reports indicate that the severe drought in Australia has been broken,
thereby improve. the outlook for the 1938-39 clip. South Africa, likewise,
has been recovering from drought.

l/ From the June 15 issue of the Dneand and Price Situation. For a
more detailed discussion see the monthly Wool Situation, copies of which
may be obtained from the Division of Econonic Information, Bureau of
Agricultural Economics, Washington, D. C.

SLS-18 -5-

Supplies of sheep and lambs, specified periods

SYear : Month
: :Average: : : May
Item Unit :1924-33 1 1936 : 1937 :average: May Apr. May
.: : : :1924-33: 1937 : 1938 1938
Sheep and lambs:
Lumber slaughtered
under Federal Thou-:
inspection L/.......: sands : 14,737 17,216 17,270 1,192 1,371 1,425 1,550

Receipts at seven : :
markets 2/ .......: do. :3/15,241 11,89211,470 /1,055

814 944 883

: Yoar : Ionth
'Average : : : Apr. : Apr.' Mar.: Apr.
:1924-33 : 1936 : 1937 :average: 1937' 1938: 1938

Slaughter under Federal
Lambs'and yearlings- : Thou-
Number slaughtered..: sands :
Percentage of total
sheep and lambs....:Percent:
Sheep: : Thou-
Number slaughtered..: sands
Percentage of total
sheep and lambs.....Percent:
Sheep and lambs: :
Average live weight : Pound :

Average dressed : do.

Total dressed

" :

13,678 15,647 15,912

92.8 90.9 92.1

1,059 1,569 1,358



81 85 85

1,081 1,256 1,342 1,354

92.8 94.1 94.0


84 79 86 71


5.9 6.0 5.0

84 87 91 87

39 40 40 40 41 42 41

680 683

46 54 60 58

and St. Paul.

1/Bureau of Animal Industry.
_/Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, Denver, St. Joseph, Sioux City
3/Average 1929-33.

_~ --1--------.----------- -- -- ----11~---1

I 1262 0886I1 5371ll
3 1262 08861 5371


Price per 100 pounds of sheep and lambs, by months, March -May,
1936 38

: 1936 : 1937 ___ ___193. .
.Mar. .Apr. : May : Mar.,Apr. : May .Iar. .Apr. .2Jay

:Dol. Dol. Dol.

Dol. Dol. Dcl. Dol. Dol. Dol.

Slaughter lambs,Chicago-:
Good and Choice .....
Common and LMedium....:
Slaughter ewes,Chicago-:
Good and Choice.-.....:
Common and Medium....:
Feeding lambs, Omaha-
Good and Choice......:

9.90 10.98 1/10.26 11.88 12.22 1/9.99 8.60
9.04 10.01 1/ 8.88 10.59 11.11 1/8.42 7.11



8.87 9.05



5.67 1/4.50
4.17 1/2.93

8.99 10.0 10.20 ---



Average price paid by
Sheep and lambs......: 9.39 9.78
Average price received ;
by farmers -
Sheep................. 4.36 4.48
Lambs ...............: 8.10 8.46
Lamb, New York-
Wholesale carcass: 2/
Choice ..............:18.19 20.67
Good ................:1765 20.06
Medium .............:16.88 19.08
Pulled wool Boston: 3/
Choice AA ...........: 97.0 93.2
Choice White B........ 80.2 78.1
Sheep pelts, packers
shearlings, lio. 1,
Chicago each 4/ : 1.08 1.00

9.76 10.99 10.L2

9.69 8.27 7.91

4.30 4.81 4.98 4.39 3.97 3.90 3.59
8.59 8.83 9.19 9.16 7.35 7.23 6.90




91.2 113.5 113.8
75.5 96.0 98.0

1.05 1.51 1.55




110o.o 71.5 72.1
94.2 55.5 56.5



1.43 0.65 0.52 0.52

1/ Shorn basis.
2/ For Choice and Good carcasses, 38 pounds down;
doin in 1936 and 1937 and all weights in 1938.
2/ Cents per pound.
4/ Bureau of Labor Statistics.

for Medium carcasses,38 pounds


4.76 4.82 1/3.62
3.46 3.41 1/2.69

7.69 7.21 --


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