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Aw DEC. 24, A.M.
DEMAND and PRICE C
\ F r -':L L'-
U-S ")F 7" 1 '",'/
Published monthly by
AGRICULTURAL MARKETING SERVICE
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Approved by the Outlook and Situation Board, December 18, 1957
Prices received by farmers rose nearly 1 percent in the month
e nded in mid-November, after declining 3 percent from August to
O october. In November they averaged 3 percent above a year ear-
lier. Prices paid by farmers also averaged 3 percent above a year
ago, and the parity ratio of 81 in November was the same as a year
earlier. Price prospects for major farm products indicate that
p prices received by farmers this winter will continue to average
above year earlier levels.
Livestock product prices in November averaged more than a
tenth above a year earlier. Meat animal prices were a fifth higher
in response to slightly smaller marketing and a strong consumer
d demand for meat. Cattle and hog prices were up 22 and 17 percent
r respectively. In November and early December big supplies of wet
g rains have delayed marketing and have temporarily strengthened
both fed cattle and hog prices.
Crop production in 1957 matches the previous records in 1956
and 1948 despite delayed plantings and poor harvesting weather.
C otton is an exception, however with the crop now estimated at
(Coninued on page 3)
ECONOMIC FACTORS AFFECTING AGRICUIWURE
SUnit or 1956
Item : base : Year
:period : :
Industrial production: Seasonally adj. j/
Total outlays, seasonally adjusted 2/
Housing starts V 3/
Construction contracts awarded /
Manufacturers' sales and inventories: 2/
Total sales, seasonally adjusted
Unfilled orders-sales ratio 6/
Inventory-sales ratio J7
Employment and wages:
Total civilian employment Q/
Workweek in manufacturing
Hourly earnings in manufacturing
Income and spending:
Personal income payments 2/ 3~
Consumer credit outstanding l/
Total retail sales, seasonally adj. 2/
Inventory-sales ratio 7/
Wholesale prices, all commodities
Commodities other than farm and food
Consumer price index, all items 4/
Prices received by farmers 10/
Livestock and products
Prices paid, interest, taxes and wage
Family living items
Parity ratio W/
Farm income and marketing: Pi
Volume of farm marketing
Cash receipts from farm marketing
: Mil. dol.
Aug Sept.: Oct. : No.
.4a. :Sp. :*
F federal Reserve Board. 2/ U. S. Department of Commerce. 3/ Seasonally adjusted anmnal rates.
u. S. Department of Iabar,Tbreau of labor Statistics. / Data published, by the Departbent of
Canmerce in the Survey of Current Business, from reports of the F. W. Dodge Corporation. / Unfilled
orders for durables divided by monthly deliveries. 7 Inventories, book value, end of month, divided by
sales. 8/ Bureau of the Census. 21 Starting with January 1957, figures are not strictly comparable with
earlier periods because of changes in definitions of employment and unemployent. / U. S. Deparent
of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service.
Annual data for most of these items for the years 1929, 1932 and 1939-56 appear an page 31 of the
April 1957 issue of The Demand and Price Situation.
DPS-36 3 DECEMBER 1957
THE DEMAND AND PRICE SITUATION
Approved by the Outlook and Situation Board, December 18, 1957
Page Page :
Summary ........................ 1 Wheat .......................... 17
: General Business Activity ...... 5 Rice ........................... 18 :
: Agricultural Exports ........... 11 Fruit ............ .............. 19
:Farm Income .................... 12 Commercial Vegetables .......... 20
Livestock and Meat ............. 13 Potatoes and Sweetpotatoes ..... 21
: Dairy Products ................ 14 Dry Beans and Peas ............ 21
: Poultry and Eggs ............... 14 Cotton ....................... 22
: Oilseeds, Fats and Oils ........ 15 Wool ........................... 23 :
: Feed .......................... 17 Tobacco ........................ 24
Continued from cover page -
about 10.9 million running bales, the smallest since 1950. Below freezing
temperatures on December 12 and 13 caused widespread damage to citrus fruits
and vegetables in Florida and the lower valley of Texas. Under the impact of
record production crop prices have declined 8 percent since last May. Mid-
November crop prices averaged 5 percent below a year earlier, but during the
winter they are likely to increase from present levels and be about the same
as last winter.
Cash receipts from marketing in the first 11 months of 1957 totaled
27.0 billion dollars, 2 percent less than in the same period in 1956. Receipts
from livestock and products were up 5 percent, largely because of higher prices
for cattle and hogs. But crop receipts were down 10 percent reflecting
lower prices and substantially smaller marketing, particularly of cotton.
However, Government payments so far this year are running about double the
Trends in October and November indicate weakening in economic activity,
although gross national output in 1957 is likely to be about 5 percent above
1956. Consumer incomes, retail sales, industrial production and employment
have eased in the past two months. Businessmen report a planned reduction in
capital outlays of about 5 percent (after seasonal adjustment) between the
fourth quarter of 1957 and the first quarter of 1958. Construction activity,
however, has reached a new high for November and outlays in 1958 are expected
to total 5 percent higher than 1957.
Marketings of cattle and hogs have been delayed by the need to feed wet
grain; as a result prices have temporarily strengthened. Fed cattle prices
are likely to hold up well or increase in early 1958 with seasonal price
declines later than usual. Prices of hogs advanced in November and early
December as the normal heavy fall marketing were stretched out.
The Department of Agriculture announced on December 18 that Price
support levels for dairy products during the 1958-59 marketing year would
be at 75 percent of parity. During the current year dairy supports are avail-
able at $3.25 a hundredweight for manufacturing milk (reflecting 83 percent
of parity), and at 58.6 cents per pound for butterfat (reflecting 80 percent
Prices received by farmers for eggs in mid-November were 8 cents a
dozen above a year earlier. The laying flock is smaller than in 1956 and
monthly production is also down. Prices are expected to continue above year
earlier levels for at least 6 months. In mid-November, average turkey prices
received by farmers were 23.6 cents, up 1.3 cents from October but 2.3 cents
below a year earlier.
Prices received by farmers for soybeans during the 1957 harvesting
season probably will average near the support loan level. Cottonseed output
is expected to be a sixth smaller than in 1956, but farm prices during the
1957-58 marketing year are likely to average near last year's level, as lower
quality tends to offset the price effect of a smaller supply.
Feed grain prices this fall have dropped to the lowest level since
1943, due to both record supplies and the large percentage of high moisture
corn. The latter will limit the seasonal rise in feed grain prices this win-
ter and spring. Disappearance of feed grains this winter is expected to be
Fresh market supplies of citrus fruits are expected to be reduced as a
result of below-freezing temperatures in Florida and Texas in mid-December;
some increase in grower prices for good quality fruit can be expected this
winter. Supplies of apples are much larger this fall than last and prices are
currently averaging considerably under a year earlier.
Supplies of vegetables for fresh market this winter are likely to be
somewhat lighter than usual. Indicated acreage of 13 major crops is 3 percent
larger than last winter, but sub-freezing temperatures in Florida on December
12 and 13 severely damaged tender vegetables and retarded development of harder
The 1957 cotton crop is estimated at about 10.9 million running bales,
the smallest since 195 when 9.9 million bales were produced. The total sup-
ply for the 1957-58 season is estimated at around 22.2 million running bales.
Prospective utilization and exports in 1957-58 point to another decline in
carryover stocks of possibly 3 million bales from the 11.2 million on
August 1, 1957.
- 4 -
Burley tobacco auction markets opened November 25, and through
December 13 the price averaged 62.6 cents per pound, slightly below the rela-
tively high prices in the comparable period of last year season.
Domestic mill use of apparel wool in October was 38 percent below a
year earlier and mill use of carpet wool was down 26 percent.
GENERAL BUSINESS ACTIVITY
Economic activity has weakened some in recent months. However, the
total value of the gross national product in 1957 is expected to be nearly
5 percent above 1956. Consumer incomes and retail sales eased a bit in
November. In recent months, slight declines in industrial production, manu-
factures' sales, and new orders have reflected a continued stretch-out of
Government procurement, leveling of capital spending and conservative inven-
tory policies. A decline in nonfarm employment accompanied cutbacks in
production, and unemployment rose to the highest level of the year. Capital
spending by business firms is scheduled to decline moderately during the
winter; however, construction expenditures for 1958 are expected to be 5 per-
cent higher than this year according to estimates of the Departments of
Commerce and Labor. Farm product prices on local markets inched upward in
the month ended in mid-November; wholesale prices increased fractionally.
Urban consumer prices were unchanged between September and October.
Gross National Output
In 1957 a New Record
Gross national output in 1957 is likely to be nearly 5 percent above
1956. With the increased value due primarily to higher prices, real output
has remained virtually unchanged during 1957, but higher than in 1956. In
the first three quarters of 1957 the output of goods remained steady while
the output of services expanded. Production of nondurable goods increased
during 1957 while the output of durable goods and construction declined a
little. A cautious inventory policy during 1957 has tended to reduce demand.
The leveling of business capital outlays has dampened industrial construction
and machinery sales, and aircraft output has been cut back by reduced Depart-
ment of Defense purchases since the summer. Among consumer durables, the
relatively slower rate of housing starts in 1957 has tended to weaken demand
for and production of furniture and appliances during 1957. Unit automobile
sales were about the same in the first nine months of 1957 as a year earlier;
the gain in expenditures of almost 10 percent reflected in large part higher
prices. Passenger car sales in October and November were running slightly
below a year earlier.
Income of consumers in November, at an annual rate of 345.4 billion
dollars, was 500 million lower than October and 1.2 billion below September,
the high for the year. Wages and salaries declined further in November,
as nonagricultural employment and average hours worked declined
- 5 -
slightly, but hourly wage rates of production workers increased to a new high
in November. Government social security and veterans payments increased, and
other sources of consumer income held up well in November.
Retail Sales Fell
Retail sales during November, according to advance reports and after
adjustment for seasonal influences, totaled 16.6 billion dollars, 1 percent
lower than October, but 3 percent higher than November 1956. Sales of non-
durable goods stores were the same as October and up 5 percent from a year
earlier. Sales of durable goods stores declined 1 percent from October and
2 percent from November 1956. The food group, drug and proprietary stores,
eating and drinking places and gasoline service stations were from 5 to 13 per-
cent higher in November than a year earlier. Sales of the apparel, automotive
lumber and hardware and general merchandise groups were from 1 to 3 percent
above November 1956, while the furniture and appliance group declined 8 per-
cent in the same period. Department store sales, for the four weeks ending
December 6 were 7 percent below the same period a year earlier.
Employment totaled 64.9 million in November, down 1.1 million from
October and a little lower than in November 1956. Declines in agricultural
employment were mainly seasonal. In nonagricultural industries a seasonal
contraction of outdoor activities and some cutbacks in production reduced
employment, in contrast with the usual small gain in November. The number of
employees in nonagricultural establishments (seasonally adjusted) declined to
52.2 million, down one-half percent from October and 1 percent from the August
peak of 52.8 million workers. Manufacturing employment declined to 16.5 mil-
lion, down two-third percent from October and 3 2/3 percent from a year
earlier. Most of the decline in manufacturing employment in November occurred
in durable goods industries. Employment in nonmanufacturing declined slightly,
with construction and transportation showing the greatest drop.
Unemployment rose to 3.2 million in November, up one-half a million from
a year earlier. 'The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 5.1 percent of
the civilian labor force compares with 4.6 percent in October and 3.9 percent
in November 1956.
In addition to the rise in unemployment, the average workweek in non-
agricultural industries declined to 39.4 hours in November in comparison with
40.0 in November 1956. Weekly hours of factory production workers also
declined during November. With average hourly earnings at a record level of
$2.10, weekly earnings were $82.32, down 24 cents from October but up 10 cents
from November 1956.
Employer hiring plans, for the period through mid-January 1958, as
reported to local public employment offices, indicate that the decline in
employment will be a little more than the usual seasonal amount for this time
of year. A brisk seasonal pickup until Christmas is expected for trade and
Post Office employment with the usual curtailment in construction, food
processing and lumber. The largest nonseasonal reduction in employment is
expected in the aircraft industry as the stretch-out of military procurement
Industrial production, seasonally adjusted, eased again in November to a
level of 139 (1947-49=100), 5 percent below November 1956. Declines in air-
craft, primary metals and machinery industries were in large part responsible
for the drop in the durables index to 153, or 7 percent below a year earlier.
Steel mills operated at 76.5 percent of capacity in November, down substantially
from the 81 percent rate in October and the 100 percent rate in November 1956.
The primary metals production index, at 123 in November was 16 percent below a
The output of consumer durables rose during November as automobile
production recovered following the introduction of 1958 models. In November
passenger car production rose to 579 thousand units in comparison with 327
thousand in October. For the year to date production is 6 percent higher than
in 1956. Production of other consumer durables declined to 109 (1947-49=100)
1 point below October 1956. Nondurable goods production after reaching a
record level of 132 in September declined to 128 in November, 1 percent below
Sales of manufacturers declined in October to a seasonally adjusted
level of 2~70 billion dollars, down 700 million from a year earlier. New
orders at 26.3 billion dollars were down 21 billion from a year earlier with
most of the drop in durable goods industries--especially in the primary metals,
machinery, fabricated metals, and transportation equipment groups. As new
orders dropped, unfilled orders declined again in October to 53.4 billion
dollars, down 15 percent from a year earlier.
Manufacturers' inventory book values, after increasing throughout 1957,
declined slightly in October to 54.1 billion dollars. Although the level was
2.3 billiQn dollars above October 1956, higher costs of replacement inventories
have accounted for much of the increase in value with only a small physical
Construction Outlays in 1958
May Reach A New High
According to estimates prepared by the Departments of Commerce and Labor,
outlays for new construction for 1958 will reach a level of 49.6 billion dol-
lars, 5 percent above the indicated level of 47.2 billion dollars for 1957.
Physical volume of work put in place anticipated for 1958 would be up a little
from 1957 and exceeded only by 1955. Most of the increase is expected from
expanded residential building and highway construction.
- 7 -
Public and private outlays for residential building are expected to in-
crease around 8 percent in 1958. A sharp rise in public housing, chiefly for
the Armed Forces, a 6 percent increase in private nonfarm dwelling units and
an expansion in additions and alterations are in prospect for next year. Some
easing in the mortgage market is expected in part because of increased savings
and a slackening of demand for funds by business for new capital programs.
Accordingly, private nonfarm housing starts in 1958 are indicated at 1,050,000
units; this compares with nearly 1 million units indicated for 1957.
Highway work probably will advance by around 14 percent in 1958, with
most of the indicated gain concentrated on the federally financed interstate
highway system authorized under the Highway Act of 1956. Outlays on this net-
work are expected to expand from 250 million dollars this year to 850 million
dollars in 1958. Larger outlays are also expected for school buildings, hospi-
tals and administrative and service buildings. Public construction of 14.9
billion dollars in 1958, up nearly a billion dollars, will be almost entirely
for State and local Government projects.
Private nonresidential building construction, for the first time in
6 years, is not expected to increase over previous years, due mainly a
decline in industrial construction. Construction of office buildings, ware-
houses, private hospitals and schools are expected to continue to expand in
1958. Stores, restaurants, garages and farm construction will likely remain
around 1957 levels. Public utilities, however, will increase spending for
construction of new facilities by 6 percent, about one half the rate of in-
crease which took place in 1957. Electric power and gas facilities will in-
crease more than 10 percent while construction of railroad and telephone
facilities will decline by about the same amount.
Construction outlays for November were 4.1 billion dollars, 4 percent
above November 1956. Both public and private construction were at new highs
for the month. New private nonfarm housing starts were at an annual rate of
1,010,000 units and spending on new dwellings continued to show more than
seasonal strength. Construction of public utility facilities, hospitals and
institutional buildings, seasonally adjusted, reached a new high in November.
Capital Spending by
Business to Decline Moderately
Capital outlays for new plant and equipment are expected to total 35.5
billion dollars (seasonally adjusted at annual rates) during the January-March
quarter of 1958, 5 percent below the 37.5 billion dollars estimated for the
last quarter of 1957, according to the November survey made public jointly by
the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Commerce. Capi-
tal spending in manufacturing in the first quarter of 1958 is expected to
decling nearly 7T percent from the last quarter of 1957. Both durable and
- 8 -
Table l.--New construction outlays 1956, 1957, and outlook for 1958
S Value (in millions :Perct
: ...of dollars) :Peren Change
Type of construction : : :
:1956 : 1957 est.: 1958 est.: 1956-57:1957-58
Total new construction :46,060 47,200 49,600 + 2 + 5
Private construction :33,242 33,300 34,700 / + 4
Residential buildings (nonfarm) :17,632 16,530 17,575 6 + 6
Nonresidential buildings (nonfarm): 8,817 9,155 9,150 + 4 I/
Industrial : 3,084 3,170 2,875 + 3 9
Commercial : 3,631 3,585 3,775 1 + 5
Other nonresidential buildings : 2,102 2,400 2,500 + 14 + 4
Farm construction : 1,560 1,600 1,600 + 3 0
Public utilities : 5,113 5,825 6,150 + 14 + 6
Other private 120 190 225 + 58 + 18
Public Construction :12,818 13,900 14,900 + 8 + 7
Residential buildings : 292 505 850 + 73 + 68
Nonresidential buildings : 4,072 4,470 4,710 + 10 + 5
Military facilities : 1,395 1,275 1,100 9 14
Highways : 4,470 4,825 5,500 + 8 + 14
Sever and water systems : 1,275 1,345 1,270 + 5 6
Public service enterprises : 384 395 400 + 3 + 1
Conservation and development : 826 965 950 + 17 2
Other public : 104 120 120 + 15 0
I/ Less than one-half of 1 percent.
Department of Labor and Department of Commerce.
nondurable goods industries are expected to decline. Railroads are expected to
cut capital spending 5 percent, while other transportation industries are now
scheduling nearly a 10 percent drop. Small declines are now in prospect for
mining, public utilities, and the commercial and other group through the winter
of 1958 (table 2).
- 9 -
Table 2.-Expenditures on new plant and equipment by quarters for 1957 and
1958, seasonally adjusted at annual rates
1957 : 1958
Item J A J y-
SJan.- Apr.- July- Oct.- Jan.-
Mar. June Sept. Dec. Mar.
e Bil. Bil. Bil. Bil. Bil. Bil.
dol. dol. dol. dol. dol. dol.
Manufacturing : 16.12 16.25 16.37 16.16 16.05 14.96
Durable goods industries :-_8.09 8.31 8.23 7.93 8.05 7.27
Nondurable goods industries: 8.03 7.94 8.14 8.23 8.00 7.69
Mining 1.35 1.28 1.24 1.20 1.25 1.16
Railroad : 1.42 1.35 1.54 1.22 1.39 1.16
Transportation other than
rail 1.52 1.82 1.81 2.03 1.80 1.82
Public utilities 5.72 5.93 6.64 6.62 6.28 6.48
Commercial and other 2/ : 10.76 10.40 10.15 10.24 10.26 9.94
Total : 36.89 37.03 37.75 37.47 37.03 35.52
i/ Estimates based on anticipated capital
business in late October and November 1957.
expenditures as reported by
2/ Includes trade, service, finance and construction.
Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Commerce.
Wholesale and Urban
Consumer Prices Steady
Wholesale prices in November increased fractionally above October to
118.0 (1947-49=1300). Farm product prices rose from October to November
reflecting higher prices for meat animals, eggs, dairy products and vegetables.
Processed food prices were up nearly 1 percent during-the last month. Prices
of industrial products at 125.7, declined slightly from the level in October.
Urban consumer prices remained unchanged between September and October
1957, at 121.1 percent of the 1947-49 average. This was the first month since
August 1956 in which prices had not advanced. Lower food prices offset
advances by other nondurable commodities and services while durable goods
prices were unchanged. Food prices were slightly lower as prices of meat and
fresh fruit declined under pressure of ample supplies. All the other compo-
nents of the index--housing, apparel, transportation, medical and personal
care, and reading and recreation--continued to advance between September and
- 10 -
Prices Received and Paid U,
Parity Ratio Unchanged
Prices paid by farmers for commodities and services, including interest,
taxes and wage rates, increased to 298 (1910-14=100) during the month ended
November 15, a new high and nearly 1 percent above October. Both the family
living and farm production indexes were higher than a month earlier. Except
for building materials, family living items generally advanced. Food and
tobacco prices averaged a little higher while clothing and automobiles were up
the most. The index of farm production items also increased nearly 1 percent
from October. A moderate decline in feed prices was more than offset by higher
prices paid for motor vehicles and supplies, and feeder livestock.
Prices received by farmers advanced almost 1 percent in the month ending
in mid-November to 242 (1910-14=100), 3 percent above a year earlier. The live-
stock and products index rose more than 1 percent over the month while crop
prices remained unchanged. All meat animal prices rose except for hogs which
continued to decline seasonally to mid-November. Dairy product prices averaged
slightly higher due to higher prices for wholesale milk. Egg and poultry prices
rose more than 4 percent: the index reached 188, the highest since January 1956.
Egg prices moved up contraseasonally in response to smaller production. Turkey
prices advanced seasonally and chicken prices remained unchanged. Commercial
vegetable prices rose 9 percent during the month and potatoes, sweetpotatoes,
and dry edible beans were up 6 percent. Cotton prices declined because market-
ings were of lower quality due to continued wet weather. Feed grain prices
averaged lower as corn dropped 5 cents a bushel.
With increases in both prices received and prices paid, the parity ratio
held steady at 81, the same as in November 1956.
Agricultural exports during July-October 1957 were valued at 1,336 mil-
lion dollars, 5 percent below the corresponding period in 1956. But exports
were higher relative to most years.
Compared with July-October 1956 higher export values were recorded for
tobacco, corn, soybeans, flaxseed and linseed oil; most livestock products,
fruit and vegetables registered small changes. Declines took place in exports
of wheat, rice, cotton, soybean and cottonseed oils, barley, oats, sorghum
grains and feeds.
If the current rate of export is maintained, exports for 1957 may set a
new calendar year record of 4.5 billion dollars. This figure assumes that ex-
ports during July-December will total somewhat in excess of 2 billion dollars
or about 10 percent below July-December 1956.
During recent years, underdeveloped countries have been taking an in-
creasing share of U. S. agricultural exports. This reflects the new regional
emphasis of U. S. foreign aid programs, and the need and eligibility of such
countries to make purchases with their own currencies under Title 1 of
- 113 -
Public Law 480. During 1956-57, 20 such countries received 85 percent or more
of their imports of farm products from this country under special U. S.
Government export programs (foreign currency sales, donations, barter or
credit.) Exports to these 20 countries totaled 22 percent of our farm exports
in that year. An additional 11 percent of farm exports were to countries
utilizing these programs for over two-thirds of their agricultural imports
from the United States.
Table 3.--Agricultural exports July-October
Commodity 1/ 1956 1957 Change from
--. 1956 to 1957
: Mil. dol. Mil. dol. Percent
Cotton 257 242 -9
Tobacco, leaf : 141 160 13
Wheat and flour 267 231 -13
Rice, milled 59 32 -46
Feed grains 111 116 5
Oilseeds 46 88 110
Vegetable oils, fats and waxes 72 50 -31
Lard and tallow 57 53 -7
Dairy products 55 53 -4
Meat and meat products 32 30 -6
Fruits, all forms 85 89 5
Vegetables, all forms : 44 39 -11
Feeds and fodders 24 15 -37
All other : 156 138 -12
Total : ',406 1,336 -5
1/ Commodity data exclude foreign donations
These are included under "all other.'
under Title III of P. L. 480.
Farmers received about 27.0 billion dollars from marketing in the
first 11 months of 1957, 2 percent less than in the corresponding period last
year. Prices averaged 3 percent above last year, but the volume of marketing
was smaller. Receipts from livestock and products of 15.7 billion dollars
were up 5 percent from 1956, largely because of higher prices for cattle and
hogs. Crop receipts were down 10 percent, however, to approximately 11.3 bil-
lion dollars. Receipts from cotton were down about a third because of smaller
marketing. Potatoes were also down substantially, reflecting lower prices,
and tobacco receipts were smaller despite slightly higher average prices.
- 12 -
Total cash receipts in November were about 3.2 billion dollars, 5 per-
cent less than November 1956. Prices averaged 3 percent higher than a year
ago but marketing were smaller. Livestock and product receipts of 1.5 bil-
lion dollars were 4 percent above last year because of higher prices. But
crop receipts of about 1.7 billion dollars were 13 percent below a year ago,
largely due to smaller marketing of cotton and tobacco.
Government payments for the full year 1957 will be close to 1.0 billion
dollars compared with 554 million dollars in 1956. The increase is due to
substantially larger Soil Bank payments this year.
LIVESTOCK AND MEAT
Corn and grain sorghums were harvested late and much of both crops is
so wet as to require early feeding. The result has been to delay marketing
and afford some temporary price strength to both fed cattle and hogs. These
conditions probably will lead to larger marketing at heavy weights later.
Market supplies of fed cattle may be relatively small early in 1958
but will increase later. Prices accordingly are expected to hold up well or
increase during the winter, then to decline seasonally in the spring. If
feeders feed beyond normal market weights, heavy cattle may at times be
subject to considerable price discounts.
As hog marketing were stretched out, November slaughter dropped to
around 15 percent below a year earlier. Prices advanced in contrast with
their normal decline at that season. Average weights of hogs marketed climbed
and in early December they were 3 to 4 pounds above a year before. After
January 1 marketing will be substantially above their rather small volume of
early 1957, and weights will be up. Prices may weaken. The normal mid-winter
price advance will probably be postponed until later than usual. Discounts
for heavy weight, which in early December were not excessive, will doubtless
Sheep and lamb slaughter in commercial plants during the first 10 months
of 1957 was 6 percent smaller than the corresponding months of 1956. As the
lamb crop was only 3 percent smaller, a considerable number of lambs remained
for slaughter, for feeding, or for adding to breeding flocks. Some wi. move
directly to slaughter. Those placed on feed will, like cattle and hogs, face
the prospect of price penalties for heavy weight. The numbers placed in
breeding flocks is not expected to be unusually large and will center in those
States recovering from the severe drought that ended in early 1957. Price
movements for market lambs could be rather erratic this winter but prices
should average a little above present prices and those of last winter.
Based on reports of federally inspected plants, cow slaughter averaged
above a year before through July. Since August it has been about 20 percent
below a year earlier. While this reduction was too late to halt the decline
in breeding herds during 1957, it could be the beginning of a withholding
trend that will become more prominent in 1958.
- 13 -
Prices to farmers for milk are averaging a little higher this year than
last as a result of small increases for both manufacturing and fluid milk.
Until April 1, 1958, prices to farmers probably will be around present levels
except for seasonal declines. The support level for the marketing year to
start April 1 will be at levels which reflect 75 percent of the parity price
of manufacturing milk and butterfat at the beginning of the marketing year.
Dairy supports for this marketing year reflects 83 percent of parity for
manufacturing milk and 80 percent for butterfat.
Retail prices for each manufactured dairy item, as well as for fluid
milk, have been above a year earlier. But with a steady consumer demand, con-
sumption per person of dairy products as a group will total about the same for
1957 as for 1956.
The number of milk cows on farms has continued below a year earlier in
1957. But with new record highs being set in output per cow, total milk flow
also has been at record high levels. For 1957, milk production probably will
reach 127 billion pounds compared with 125.7 billion in 1956. With favorable
milk-feed price relationships and record large supplies of feed concentrates
and hay, milk production very likely will continue at a record level through
The milk equivalent of CCC purchases for price support was above a year
earlier from April 1 through November 30 by about 800 million pounds, or
20 percent. If purchases the rest of this marketing year continue this far
above a year earlier, the total for 1957-58 would be about 6 billion pounds,
milk equivalent--about 5 percent of production compared with. 4 percent last
year. Sales of butter to CCC in September-November were larger than in the
same period of 1956, as a result of higher butter production, and prices
not rise as much above support levels this year as last. Purchases of nonfat
dry milk hold near last year's record high, when about 800 million pounds were
bought for the marketing year as a whole.
POULTRY AND EGGS
Egg prices to early December had declined from mid-November levels, when
prices received by farmers were at the peak of the year. The average price
received by farmers was 45.3 cents per dozen in mid-November, 8.1 cents above
a year earlier. Egg prices are likely to continue above a year earlier for at
least 6 months. Prices thereafter will be influenced by production from
pullets raised in the spring of 1958.
The December 1 laying flock is 5 percent smaller than a year earlier
and includes a larger than usual proportion of hens, with a correspondingly
reduced proportion of pullets. This flock laid 6 percent fewer eggs in
November 1957 than in November 1956. Monthly production until mid-1958 is
.likely to continue lower than a year earlier.
Somewhat more pullets will be raised for laying flock replacement in
1958 than the 50-year record-low raised in 1957. However, the hen-pullet com-
position of the present laying flock indicates the number of hens to be avail-
able next fall for a second laying year will be small. About 5 percent more
pullets than in 1957 could be added to the laying flock without increasing its
size. Such a flock, however, would lay slightly more eggs than a year earlier,
because of the higher proportion of pullets and the likely resumption of the
trend toward year-to-year increases in rate of lay per bird.
Broiler prices have varied considerably since October but have averaged
at the lowest level of the year to date. The mid-November U. S. average price
of 17.1 cents was 0.3 cents higher than November 1956. Present production is
about 10 percent higher than last year.
Turkey prices have strengthened since early November, but have not
risen to year-ago levels. The mid-November U. S. average farm price of 23.6
cents was up 1.3 cents from a month earlier, compared with the average of 25.9
cents in both October and November 1956. The present record storage stocks of
turkeys are weighted more heavily than usual with toms, while the supply of
hens probably is less than at this time last year.
FATS, OILS AND OILSEEDS
Lard prices weakened during November, partly reflecting relatively slow
export demand. Prices (tanks, loose, Chicago) averaged 11.2 cents per pound
compared with 11.9 cents the previous month and 12.6 cents in November 1956.
Lard prices through most of the 1957-58 marketing year probably will remain
under a year earlier as slaughter of heavier hogs gathers momentum. The
number of hogs slaughtered in November was still less than a year earlier but
average weight was a little higher.
Hog slaughter in early 1958 will be above 1957 due to delayed market-
ings. Slaughter weights and lard yields also will be up. Also adding to lard
yields in 1958 will be the usual tendency by packers to trim more fat from
pork cuts as hog slaughter rises.
The 1957 soybean crop is estimated at 480 million bushels, about 30
million above last year. Soybean prices in November averaged $2.04 per bushel,
about equal to the national support loan level and 23 cents below a year ear-
lier. Farm prices during most of the 1957 harvesting season probably will
average near the loan level as the support tends to set a floor under the mar-
ket. The proportion of the crop marketed early in the season was smaller than
usual because of the late harvest and the tendency for producers to hold beans.
This will mean larger marketing later which will tend to limit any seasonal
upswing in soybean prices. The upswing will be small unless the fats and oils
picture changes greatly. The 1957-58 season average price received by farmers
for soybeans is estimated at $2.09 per bushel compared with $2.18 last year.
Indications are that soybean oil prices during the 1957-58 marketing year will
average somewhat less than a year earlier.
- 15 -
Soybean oil prices in early December were about 20 percent less than
last year and meal prices were down 8 percent; soybean meal prices are
the lowest since the World War II period when price controls were in effect.
Exports of soybeans continue heavy. Soybeans inspected for export (including
shipments to Canada) from October 1 through December 13 totaled 33 million
bushels, 1 million more than a year ago. Soybean crushings in October totaled
28 million bushels, the largest monthly crush since last March. Preliminary
reports point to continued large crushings in November.
Because prospective soybean supplies in 1957-58 are in excess of prob-
able uses, soybeans going under support will be heavy and CCC acquisitions are
likely to be substantial. Most of the soybean carryover next October 1 is
likely to be in the hands of CCC.
The USDA announced on December 11 the sales policy for 1957 crop soy-
beans taken over following the May 31, 1958 maturity date for price support
loans and purchase agreements. CCC-owned soybeans will be sold for domestic
crushing or for export at the higher of the domestic market price or the 1957
basic loan rate at point of production for grade No. 2 soybeans plus 1.5 cents
per bushel carrying charges for each month or part of a month beginning June 1,
1958, and also plus an announced "quality adjustment factor." This factor will
be announced prior to May 31, 1958.
This sales policy will continue in effect until October 1, 1958 when a
reappraisal of the soybean situation will be made.
Estimated production of 1957 crop cotton and cottonseed was revised
downward in December. Cottonseed output is now placed at 4.5 million tons,
about 16 percent less than a year ago and the smallest since 1950. The 1957-
58 season average price received by farmers is estimated at $50.90 per ton,
$2.50 below last year but well above support. Lower quality this year is a
factor tending to offset the price effect of the smaller supply.
Cottonseed oil prices this fall and winter probably will average near
a year earlier level. They are being maintained by reduced supplies, a rela-
tively strong domestic demand for cotton oil, and a continuing strong demand
for cottonseed oil from Northern Europe. Large supplies of competitive soy-
bean oil at lower prices, however, will tend to limit any significant rise in
cotton oil prices.
The 1957 flaxseed crop is now placed at just under 26 million bushels,
compared with 48 million last year. Domestic flaxseed and linseed oil supplies
are.tight for the current marketing year. Prices of both commodities have
moved up sharply since the beginning of the year and will remain substantially
above last year.
Influenced by record supplies and the large percentage of high moisture
corn, feed grain prices this fall dropped to the lowest level since 1943.
Average prices received by farmers declined 13 percent from August to November,
when they were 16 percent lower than a year earlier. Hay prices this season
also have been at a postwar low, and the index of high protein feed prices in
November dropped slightly below the previous postwar low reached in 1956.
The seasonal decline in corn prices this fall came much later than in
1956, reflecting the lateness in harvesting the 1957 crop. The mid-November
average price received by farmers for corn dropped to $1.01 per bushel,
20 cents lower than a year earlier and the lowest since World War II. This
was substantially below the national average support of $1.40 per bushel to
farmers complying with acreage allotments and moderately below the $1.10
support to noncomplying producers. The price of No. 3 Yellow corn at Chicago
declined to a weekly average of $1.14 per bushel for the week ended November 29,
the lowest so far this season. Corn prices strengthened in early December
averaging $1.17 per bushel for the first half of the month, 20 cents lower than
a year earlier. Much of high moisture corn and sorghum grains on farms will
have to be disposed of this winter and spring in order to avoid unnecessary
spoilage. This will continue to limit the seasonal rise in feed grain prices
and probably reduce the quantities of feed grains eligible for CCC price
The total supply of feed grains and other concentrates for 1957-58 is
estimated at 217 million tons on the basis of December crop report, 8 percent
higher than in 1956-57 and 25 percent above the 1950-54 average. Supplies of
corn, barley and sorghum grains for 1957-58 set new records, while the oats
supply was about average. As a result of the lower quality corn and sorghum
grains and generally favorable livestock-feed price ratios, disappearance of
feed grains in 1957-58 is expected to be comparatively heavy, especially
during the fall and winter months. But with the record supply available after
allowing for heavier domestic disappearance and continued heavy exports, the
carryover into 1958-59 is expected to be around 25 percent above the 47 mil-
lion tons carried over this year.
The Department of Agriculture announced on November 27 an allotment of
38,818,381 acres for the 1958 corn crop in the commercial corn area, 1,529,492
acres more than the allotment for the 1957 area. The 1958 area includes 932
counties, 38 more than in 1957. Most of the increase in the allotment will
be absorbed by the new areas included in the 1958 commercial area. Allotments
to individual counties and farms will not be changed greatly from 1957, except
as they are adjusted for acreage trends, crop rotations and other factors.
Cash wheat prices were at or near the high for the season on December 10.
Since that time prices have declined around 4 cents, reflecting limited export
demand and a very slow bakery and family flour market.
- 17 -
On December 10 prices were as follows: No. 1 Soft White at Portland,
$2.29, 11 cents above the effective loan; No. 1 Dark Northern Spring, ordinary
protein, at Minneapolis, $2.31 at the effective loan and No. 2 Soft Red Winter
at St. Louis, $2,23, 3 cents below the effective loan. The price of $2.13 for
No. 2 Hard Red Winter, ordinary protein, at Kansas City, however, was 13 cents
below the effective loan. The price of the latter is relatively lower than
the other classes of wheat because of very large supplies. Prices on
December 10 were generally 4 to 14 cents above the low for the season to date.
Compared with a year earlier, prices at Minneapolis were 3 cents lower, while
those at St. Louis, Portland and Kansas City, were 18 cents, 19 cents and
19 cents, respectively, below a year earlier.
In mid-November, prices received by farmers for wheat averaged $1.93
compared with $1.92 in mid-October, $1.90 in mid-September and $2.05 in mid-
November of 1956. Terminal market prices on December 18 were slightly below
those in mid-November.
Through November 15, growers had placed 176.2 million bushels of 1957-
crop wheat under price support loan and purchase agreements, compared with
219.2 million bushels of 1956--crop wheat put under support through November 15,
1956 from the 1956 crop. During the 30-day period October 15 to November 15,
farmers put .22.9 million bushels of 1957-crop wheat under support, compared
with 21.4 million bushels in the same period a year earlier. About 2.7 mil-
lion bushels of 1957-crop wheat had been withdrawn from support by October 15,
1957 compared with 15.8 million bushels by the same date in 1956.
Supplies of wheat for the marketing year which began July 1, 1957 total
1,863 million bushels, 183 million bushels less than the record large supplies
last year. They are also below 1955-56 and 1954-55, but above any previous
year. Total supplies include the carryover of 908 million bushels, the crop
estimated at 947 million bushels and probable imports of about 8 million bushels.
Domestic disappearance for 1957-58 is estimated at about 592 million
bushels, slightly above that in the past year. Assuming exports of about
400 million bushels, which are very large but sharply below the all-time record
of 549 million bushels in 1956-57, the carryover July 1, 1958 would total about
870 million bushels. This would be about 35 million bushels below the 908 mil-
lion on July 1 this year.
On November 20, the Acting Secretary of Agriculture determined that the
"certificate" or "two-price" marketing program authorized by the Agricultural
Act of 1956 will not be in effect for the 1958 crop. At the sa e time, he
announced the 1958 crop acreage allotment, marketing quota and price support
programs. The national acreage allotment was proclaimed at 1,652,596 acres,
the minimum permitted by law and the same as that for the 1956 and 1957 crops.
The minimum national average support price was announced at $4.33 per cwt.
This reflects 75 percent of parity and compares with $4.72 per cwt. for the
1957 crop, which was 82 percent of parity.
Rice growers, according to the preliminary report approved marketing
quotas for the 1958 rice crop by a favorable vote of 91 percent in the
referendum which was held on December 10. This is the same percentage as last
About 1,460 thousand acres may be harvested in 1958, assuming that under-
planting and abandonment total about 40 thousand acres, and that about
150 thousand acres are placed in the Soil Bank. If yields are 31.41 cwt. per
harvested acre, the 1955-57 average, a crop of 45.9 million cwt. would be
produced. With domestic disappearance for 1958-59 estimated at 27.4 million
cwt., a crop of this size would require exports in excess of about 18.5 million
ewt. in order to have a reduction in the carryover on August 1, 1959. Exports
in 1958-59 cannot be predicted at this time. In 1957-58 they are expected to
total about 19 million cwt., which is slightly below the 1951-55 average, and
sharply below the record large exports of 37.7 million cwt. in 1956.
Fresh market supplies of citrus fruits are expected to be reduced some-
what this winter from earlier prospects as a result of below-freezing
temperatures in Florida and Texas in mid-December. The extent of the losses
caused by the freeze cannot be determined with precision. Favorable growing
conditions the next few weeks and ability to dispose of damaged fruit could
reduce monetary losses. In Florida, loss of fruit is expected to be heavy in
tangerines and temple oranges. Losses of grapefruit are expected to be minor.
But there was some leaf burn to both grapefruit and orange trees, and some
young orange trees in low lying areas may be lost. In Texas, some loss of
citrus fruit in low lying areas is expected, but the general appearance of
trees was reported good. With the prospective reduction in supplies of citrus,
same increase in grower prices of good quality fruit, especially tangerines and
oranges, can be expected this winter.
Shipping-point prices for Florida grapefruit from the smaller 1957-58
crop held fairly steady during November and early December at levels a little
under this period in 1956. Although prices may continue steady in January,
they may increase later in the winter. Remaining supplies of grapefruit are
lighter than a year ago, partly the result of heavier early-season movement
this year than last.
Utilization of new-crop Florida oranges and grapefruit for fresh market
shipment and for processing was considerably heavier by December 7, 1957
than that by this date in 1956. Output of both canned and frozen citrus juices
is up considerably from a year ago. Movement of Florida canned citrus juices
and frozen orange concentrate is up sharply this fall over a year earlier. On
- 19 -
December 1, Florida packers' stocks of canned single-strength grapefruit
juice was considerably larger than a year earlier and those of blended juice
were up moderately. But stocks of canned single-strength orange juice and
frozen orange concentrate were down moderately.
With supplies of apples much larger this fall than last, prices at im-
portant shipping points in November and early December averaged considerably
under a year earlier. Prices at some points tended to rise, perhaps because
of larger sales of higher quality fruit from storage. Stocks of apples in
cold storage on December 1, 1957, according to the Cold Storage Report of the
USDA, were about 45 million bushels, much larger than a year earlier.
Cold-storage stocks of pears on December 1, 1957 were about 3 million
bushels, slightly larger than a year earlier. In early December, prices for
Western D'Anjou pears on the principal auctions averaged somewhat under a year
earlier Prices for the Bosc variety' averaged about the same as year earlier.
Stocks of grapes in cold storage on December 1 were about 15 percent
larger than a year earlier. Most of these grapes were of the Emperor variety,
of which the marketing season usually extends into late winter or early
spring. Prices for this variety at shipping points in California in early
December averaged somewhat under a year earlier.
For Fresh Market
Supplies of vegetables for fresh market are likely to be somewhat
lighter this winter than usual. Acreage estimates are now available for 13
crops which typically make up more than four-fifths of the total tonnage of
winter vegetables. In early December, aggregate reported acreage of these
crops was 3 percent larger than last winter, and indications were that pro-
duction would be substantially larger than the relatively light supplies of
last winter. However, sub-freezing temperatures in Florida on December 12 and
13, severely damaged tender vegetables thus lowering production prospects.
The cold also resulted in some damage and retarded development of hardier
types. The full extent of overall damage and loss is not yet known.
Imports of winter vegetables from Mexico and Cuba may total about the
same as in the winter of 1957. Demand for fresh vegetables is expected to
continue strong. Thus, prices received by farmers compared with a year ear-
lier will depend largely on the volume produced and the pattern of maturity
- 20 -
Supplies of canned vegetables available into mid-1958 appear to be a
little smaller than the heavy supplies of a year earlier, but supplies of
frozen vegetables continue their upward trend and are at record levels.
Stocks of all frozen vegetables on December 1 amounted to almost 967 million
pounds compared with 905 million pounds a year earlier. Biggest increases
over a year ago were in mixed peas and carrots, other mixed vegetables, and
french fried potatoes. But holdings were as large or larger than a year ear-
lier for all other items, except broccoli and cauliflower.
Among major canned items, tomatoes, tomato juices and most tomato pro-
ducts are expected to be down materially from a year earlier, but still above
the 1949-55 average. Supplies of snap beans, corn and peas are near record
With smaller supplies of canned vegetables available and higher proces-
sing and distribution costs, both wholesale and retail prices of most canned
and frozen items are expected to be a little higher this winter than last.
POTATOES AND SWEETPOTATOES
Supplies of potatoes this winter promise to be moderately smaller than
the burdensome supplies of last winter. Production of fall crop potatoes in
1957 was estimated at 154 million hundredweight, about 12 million hundred-
weight less than in 1956. Stocks of potatoes on hand on January 1 are ex-
pected to be smaller than the relatively large stocks of January 1, 1957.
Further, indicated production for winter harvest is down moderately from the
high level of last winter. With smaller supplies in prospect this winter,
prices both at the farm and retail level are expected to average somewhat
higher than the low levels of a year earlier.
Demand for sweetpotatoes is expected to be about the same this winter
as last. With smaller supplies in most areas where facilities for storage
are satisfactory, prices this winter are expected to average at least moder-
ately above those of a year earlier.
DRY BEANS AND PEAS
Materially fewer dry edible beans are available than a year ago, but
overall supplies appear ample to meet domestic and anticipated export demand.
With smaller supplies and the same national support rate, prices received by
farmers this winter are expected to average moderately to substantially above
those of a year earlier. However, Pintos appear to be in burdensome supply.
- 21 -
DPS-36 22 DBEWBM 1957
Although smaller than a year ago, supplies of dry field peas are still
in excess of anticipated domestic and export demand, and are weighing heavily
on the market. Prices received by farmers in mid-November averaged only
$3.10 per hundredweight, much lower than the 1952-56 average. Barring an
unexpectedly large export demand, prices through the winter are expected to
continue at relatively low levels.
The supply of cotton in the United States for the 1957-58 season is
estimated at about 22.2 million running bales. This includes a starting carry-
over of 11.2 million, the 1957 crop of about 10.9 million, and estimated
imports of about .1 million bales.
The 1957 crop is the smallest since 1950 when 9.9 million running bales
were produced. The decline was caused by a small harvested acreage of about
13.6 million acres and a yield per acre which was about 23 pounds below the
average of 413 pounds for the past 2 crops. The acreage reserve program took
about 3 million acres out of production, and the relatively low yield was
caused by bad weather.
With disappearance estimated at about 14 million bales, including
exports of about 5.5 million and domestic mill consumption close to last year's
8.6 million, the carryover on August 1, 1958 probably will be around 8.2 mil-
lion bales. This would be the smallest carryover since 1953 and about 3.0 and
6.3 million bales smaller than the carryover of a year and 2 years earlier,
Prices of cotton have moved upward rather steadily since the latter
half of September, and on December 11 the average 14 spot price for Middling
1-inch cotton was 34.98 cents per pound. This compares with the low for the
season to date of 33.18 cents on September 20, 33.17 cents a year earlier, and
with a high in the 1956-57 season of 34.08 cents on July 18, 1957.
Stocks held by the Commodity Credit Corporation (owned and held as colla-
teral against outstanding loans and excluding stocks sold for export) were
about 5.1 million bales on December 6. These were the smallest stocks held
by the CCC since September 1953. A year earlier the Corporation held about
9.8 million bales.
Exports of cotton from August 1 through October were about 1.2 million
bales, a decline from the 1.5 million for the same period a year earlier but
larger than exports for this period in any other year since 1939. Exports
during October of about 484,000 bales compare with 598,000 a year earlier, but
they were larger in this month than in any other October since 1951.
The average daily rate of domestic mill consumption from August 4
through November 2 was about 33,000 bales. This compares with about the same
rate for the entire 1956-57 season and with an average rate of about 34,400
for the same period a year earlier. In other words, the rate of mill consump-
tion during the months following October 1956 declined more than seasonally.
The decline in wool prices in foreign markets which started last May
continued into December. Mid-December prices for most merino wools ranged
between 5 and 15 cents per pound, clean, below a month earlier, and prices of
crossbred wools ranged from about the same as to about 5 cents below a month
earlier. Prices of merinos were 30 to 40 cents lower than a year earlier and
40 to 50 cents lower than the peak levels of May of this year. Prices of
crossbreds were 15 to 25 cents lower than a year earlier and 30 to 40 cents
lower than in May.
Boston quotations for domestic wools also have declined but the declines
from the peak levels earlier this year have been less than the declines
abroad. Consequently, the differential between Boston quotations for domestic
wools and prices in foreign markets has been somewhat wider than the average
for recent years. Early December quotations for most domestic wools were
the same as a month earlier. They ranged from the same as to 12.5 cents per
pound, clean, lower than a year earlier. The declines from the peak levels
of earlier this year were as much as 27.5 cents.
The monthly average of prices received by domestic growers for shorn
wool has declined each month since June. The average for November was
8.9 cents per pound, grease basis, lower than that for June. It was 1 cent
higher than that of November 1956.
Commodity Credit Corporation sold 5.6 million pounds, actual weight,
of wool, during the first 2 weeks of December. These sales completed the
disposal of the 149 million pounds in inventory in November 1955 when the com-
petitive bid sales program went into effect.
During the first three quarters of this year consumption of wool in the
11 countries which report to the Commonwealth Economic Committee totaled about
5 percent higher than for the corresponding period of 1956. Consumption
increased in all reporting countries except the United States and Canada.
Mill use of other materials by the wool textile industries of these countries
was up 6 percent with increases for all countries except the United States
and Japan. During the third quarter of this year, use of wool was about
3 percent above a year earlier. Each country reported gains except the United
States, Netherlands, Canada, and Sweden. Use of other materials was up 7 per-
cent in the third quarter, with increases for all except Japan and Belgium.
- 23 -
The average weekly rate of apparel wool consumption by woolen and
worsted mills in the United States during January-October was 16 percent below
last year. The October rate was 38 percent below a year earlier. Use of
other fiber in worsted combing and in woolen spinning of yarn other than car-
pet during January-October was down only 4 percent, with use of mannmad fiber
up 15 percent and use of reused and reprocessed wool and other fiber down
Domestic mill use of carpet wool is also down from last year. The
decline for the first ten months was about 9 percent. The October rate was
26 percent below last year. But use of other fiber in the spinning of carpet
and rug yarn by woolen mills during January-October was about the same as
last year, with use of manmade fiber down 4 percent and use of reused and
reprocessed wool and other fiber up 5 percent.
Historically, mill use of both apparel and carpet wool in the United
States has shown a pronounced cyclical pattern, with cycle varying considerably
in amplitude and duration. Mill use entered the downward phase of the cycle
early in the summer of last year.
United States imports of dutiable wool for consumption during January-
September were down about 25 percent from 1956. The decline in the quantity
imported was somewhat less than the drop in the quantity of apparel wool
In the first three quarters, imports of duty-free wool for consumption
during the same months were down about 13 percent from last year. The quan-
tity imported for consumption was less than the quantity of carpet wool
consumed during the same months. Furthermore, compared with the first three
quarters of 1956 the decline in imports for consumption was considerably
greater than the decline in consumption.
Burley auction markets opened November 25, and through December 13
the volume marketed was 367 million pounds--averaging 62.6 cents per pound.
This was only slightly below the comparatively high price average in the
comparable period of last season. Deliveries for Government loans were a
little over 1 percent of gross sales (includes resales). Last season also,
the quantity placed under loan was very little in contrast to most previous
postwar years. Burley supplies are a little lower than last year; though
carryover is almost as much as a year ago, the crop is estimated to be down
about 5 percent.
The Virginia fire-cured auction market opened on December 2 and through
mid-December, prices averaged 39.2 cents per pound compared with 40.2 cents
last season. Markets for Kentucky-Tennessee fire-cured types are expected to
begin in January.
The dark air-cured type 35 (one Sucker) auction market opened December 2,
and through mid-December averaged 36.0 cents per pound compared with 35.3 cents
in the early weeks of last season. The auctions for dark air-cured type 36
(Green River) and Virginia sun-cured type 37 opened on December 10. Average
prices for the first few days for type 36 were moderately higher but for type 37,
were a little lower compared with a year ago.
This year's production of fire-curedand dark air-cured (including sun-
cured) tobacco is more than one-fifth lower than last year. Carryovers of most
of these types are large and substantial quantities are being carried in Govern-
ment loan stocks.
The auctioning of the 1957 crop flue-cured is completed and the overall
season average price at 55 cents per pound for gross sales is 7 percent above
last season's and tops the record 1950 average of 54.7 cents per pound.
The 1958 national flue-cured tobacco allotment was announced on
November 25 at practically the same level as for 1957. Farm allotments in
nearly all instances will continue the same as in the past year. The flue-
cured variety discount program also will continue in effect. Prices for the
1958 crop of flue-cured varieties, Coker 139, Coker 140, and Dixie Bright 244,
will be supported at one-half the support rates for comparable grades of other
Calendar year 1957 output of cigarettes is expected to reach a new high.
Output of smoking tobacco will be close to a year ago, but, that of chewing
tobacco and snuff will fall below last year. Output of cigars this year will
be up a little from last year.
Exports of leaf tobacco in calendar 1957 are estimated to be 3 or 4 per-
cent lower than in 1956. However, exports of flue-cured, the principal export
tobacco, during August-October were a little above a year earlier despite the
much smaller 1957 crop.
- 25 -
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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