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PRICES
March 31, 1998

USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service   |  1222 Woodward Street   |  Orlando, Florida 32803   |  407 / 648-6013


PRICES RECEIVED BY FLORIDA FARMERS

    Prices received by cattle producers in mid-March were mixed compared with the entire month of February. Hogs were up 20 cents per cwt from last month but down $10.80 from a year ago. The price for cows at $34.70 per cwt was $2.70 below a month earlier and $2.20 less than March 1997. Steers and heifers were down $2.40 per cwt from last month but $7.10 higher than the previous year. Calves were up 50 cents and $6.30 per cwt from last month and last year, respectively.

    Milk price estimates for March averaged $17.60 per cwt, 10 cents more than a month earlier and $1.30 higher than last year. Commercial broilers at 37.0 cents per pound were up 2.0 cents above last month but 5.0 cents less than a year earlier. Table eggs at 54.0 cents per dozen were 2.0 cents higher than the previous month but 3.0 cents less than March 1997.

U.S. PRICE INDEXES

    The All Farm Products Index of Prices Received in March was 103 based on 1990-92=100, up 2 points (2.0 percent) from February. Price increases from February for oranges, onions, lettuce, and cattle more than offset price decreases for tomatoes, strawberries, milk, and soybeans. The seasonal changes in the mix of commodities farmers sell also affect the overall Index level. Higher seasonal marketings of tomatoes, soybeans, asparagus, and broilers more than offset the relatively lower marketings of cattle,
cotton, corn, and oranges. These changes contributed one point of the two point increase in the overall Index.

    Compared with March 1997, the All Farm Products Index was 5 points (4.6 percent) lower. Price decreases from March 1997 for hogs, soybeans, cattle, and corn more than offset price increases for milk, onions, cauliflower, and calves.

PRICES PAID INDEX DOWN

    The March Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates (PPITW) was 115 percent of the 1990-92 average. The Index was down 0.9 percent from February 1998 and 1.7 percent below March 1997. Since February 1998, lower prices for complete feeds, feeder cattle, fuels, feed supplements and concentrates, feeder pigs, herbicides, and fertilizer more than offset slightly higher prices for other hay, fungicides, building materials, and insecticides.

SUMMARY TABLE
Index
1990-92=100
    1997 1998
Feb Mar Feb Mar
Prices Received 105 108 101 103
Prices Paid 116 117 116 115
Ratio 1/ 91 92 87 90
1/ Ratio of Index of Prices Received to Prices Paid.


Average price received by farmers 1/
Commodity Unit Florida United States
March
1997
February
1998
March
1998
March
1997
February
1998
March
1998
Meat animals:
    Hogs $ per cwt 42.40 31.40 31.60 49.40 35.70 35.20
    Cows $ per cwt 36.90 37.40 34.70 36.90 36.00 35.60
    Steers & heifers $ per cwt 64.30 73.80 71.40 67.90 63.30 64.20
    Calves $ per cwt 83.70 89.50 90.00 80.00 88.70 89.70
Milk: 2/
    Sold to plants, all $ per cwt 16.30 17.70 17.60 13.50 14.70 14.50
Poultry:
    Com'l broilers Cents per lb. 42.0 35.0 37.0 38.0 34.4 35.2
    Table eggs Cents per doz. 57.0 52.0 54.0 60.5 51.1 57.1
Citrus, on tree:
    Oranges $ per box 3.77 3.33 4.61 4.46 3.53 4.75
    Grapefruit $ per box 0.83 0.82 0.34 0.90 1.61 1.03
    Limes $ per bu. ** 7.81 ** ** 7.81 **
    Tangerines $ per box 11.05 8.24 9.05 10.22 8.15 8.15
Field crops:
    Potatoes $ per cwt 14.900 31.50 30.50 4.60 5.86 6.30
    Hay, baled $ per ton ** ** ** 102.00 97.20 97.50
    Tobacco, Type 11-37 Cents per lb. ** ** ** 193.0 192.0 177.5
    Peanuts Cents per lb. ** ** ** ** ** **
    Corn* $ per bu. 2.79 2.55 2.53
    Oats* $ per bu. 1.91 1.62 1.61
    Cotton* Cents per lb. 69.3 62.0 62.8
    Sorghum* $ per cwt 4.37 4.06 4.07
    Soybeans* $ per bu. 7.97 6.57 6.42
    Wheat, Winter* $ per bu. 3.98 3.16 3.18
1/ Eggs and hay estimates are midmonth prices. Prices for the latest month are midmonth estimates for grains and soybeans, and mostly first half of month for meat animals. Other estimates are for the entire month.
2/ Before deductions for hauling and government withholding, and includes quantity and other premiums, but excludes hauling subsidies.
* Only marketing year average prices estimated for Florida, except oats and sorghum which are not estimated.
** Not estimated this month.


HIGHLIGHTS--U.S. PRICES RECEIVED

All Crops: The March Index was 112, up 1.8 percent from February but 5.1 percent below March 1997. From February, price increases for vegetables, potatoes and dry beans, and food grains more than offset price decreases for oilseeds, feed grains and hay, and tobacco.

Food Grains: The March Index, at 119, was up 1.7 percent from the previous month but 12 percent below March 1997. The March all wheat price, at $3.34 per bushel, was up 7 cents from February but 59 cents below the March 1997 price.

Feed Grains & Hay: The March Index was 113, unchanged from last month but 8.1 percent below March 1997. The corn price, at $2.53 per bushel, was down 2 cents from February and 26 cents below the March 1997 price. The all hay price, at $97.50 per ton, was up 30 cents from February.

Oil-Bearing Crops: The March Index, at 115, was down 1.7 percent from February and 19 percent below March 1997. Soybean prices, at $6.42 per bushel, decreased 15 cents from February and were $1.55 below March 1997.

Fruit and Nuts: The March all fruit and nuts Index, at 95, was up 6.7 percent from the previous month but was unchanged from March 1997. Higher prices from last month for oranges more than offset lower prices for strawberries and grapefruit. Citrus move ment was seasonal, with a larger volume of both fresh and process ing grapefruit and fewer processing oranges moving as the transition from Navel to Valencia harvest continues.

Potatoes and Dry Beans: The March Index, at 109, was up 5.8 percent from last month and 17 percent above March 1997. The March potato price, at $6.30 per cwt, was up 44 cents from February and $1.70 per cwt above March 1997.


Livestock and Products: The March Index, at 95, was up 1.1 percent from the February Index but down 4.0 percent from March 1997. Compared with a year ago, prices were up for calves and all milk, but were lower for beef cows, steers and heifers, hogs, broilers, turkeys, and eggs.

Meat Animals: The March Index, at 82, was unchanged from last month but down 11 percent from a year earlier. The March hog price was $35.20 per cwt, down 50 cents from February and $14.20 below a year ago. The March beef cattle price of $61.20 was up 80 cents from last month but $3.60 below March 1997. Hog slaughter was running about 6 percent above a year ago during March. Cattle on feed inventory levels have declined to near the 1997 level. This, combined with tightening of feeder cattle supplies, resulted in a slight increase in beef cattle prices.

Dairy Products
: The March Index, at 111, was down 1.8 percent from February but was 7.8 percent above March 1997. The March all milk price, at $14.50 per cwt, was down 20 cents from February, but up $1.00 from last year. February milk production was up 1.3 percent from last year. Prices decreased from last month for both fluid and manufacturing grade milk. Cheese prices also decreased in March.

Poultry and Eggs: The March Index, at 108, was 3.8 percent above February but 6.1 percent below a year ago. The March broiler price at 35.2 cents per pound was up 0.8 cents from February, the normal seasonal trend. Weekly broiler placements have been running slightly above a year ago. An increase in domestic demand for eggs over-shadowed the weak export market and increased market egg prices 6.0 cents to 57.1 cents per dozen. Table egg production was up 2 percent in February. Turkey prices increased 0.6 cents to 34.6 cents per pound. Cold storage holdings of turkey continue to be above last year's holdings.

Prices received for Selected Agricultural Commodities, by months,
United States, 1997 and 1998
Month All wheat Corn Soybeans Beef cattle 1/ All hogs
1997 1998 2/ 1997 1998 2/ 1997 1998 2/ 1997 1998 2/ 1997 1998 2/
Dollars per bushel Dollars per cwt
Jan 4 .02 3 .33 2 .69 2 .56 7 .13 6 .69 61 .40 62 .50 53 .80 36 .00
Feb 3 .89 3 .27 2 .65 2 .55 7 .38 6 .57 61 .90 60 .40 52 .80 35 .70
Mar 3 .93 3 .34 2 .79 2 .53 7 .97 6 .42 64 .80 61 .20 49 .40 35 .20
Apr 4 .10 2 .80 8 .23 64 .80 53 .80
May 4 .08 2 .69 8 .40 65 .10 58 .20
Jun 3 .52 2 .56 8 .16 62 .30 57 .80
Jul 3 .23 2 .42 7 .52 62 .80 58 .90
Aug 3 .56 2 .50 7 .25 63 .90 55 .30
Sep 3 .67 2 .52 6 .72 63 .60 50 .40
Oct 3 .55 2 .54 6 .50 63 .30 47 .30
Nov 3 .50 2 .51 6 .85 63 .30 45 .10
Dec 3 .45 2 .52 6 .71 62 .90 41 .60
1/ Cows, steers, and heifers.
2/ Current month prices are mid-month; prices for previous months are for the entire month.


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