Farm Prices Rise, Consumers Paying More for Milk, Beef

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its preliminary report on February farm prices Friday afternoon. The all-products price index rose by 7 points month-over-month (7.1%) to 106, with the crop index up 4% and the livestock index also up 4%. The preliminary all-products index is down 11% year-over-year. The index uses prices from 2011 as its base value (100).

The USDA noted that February’s higher prices for cattle, oranges, market eggs, and milk offset lower prices for broilers, peanuts, grapefruit, and potatoes as the prices paid by farmers in the month remained flat at 107 compared with January and up 1 point compared with February 2013.

Meat prices were up 3.5% sequentially and 13% year-over-year in February, with beef cattle up 17% from February 2013.

The other big increase comes in dairy prices. The index is up 5.1% sequentially and 27% year-over-year in February.

Here is how some agriculture-related ETFs are performing today:

The Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (NYSEMKT: MOO) was trading nearly flat before the USDA report was released. About half an hour before markets close today shares are about 0.1% at $52.68 in a 52-week range of $48.75 to $55.29.

The PowerShares DB Agriculture fund (NYSEMKT: DBA) was trading down about 0.3% before the report, and remained roughly flat at $27.35, in a 52-week range of $24.06 to $27.35. The high was posted today.

The Teucrium Corn Fund (NYSEMKT: CORN) traded up about 1.8% and gained a bit more at $32.33 in a 52-week range of $29.50 to $44.22.

The Teucrium Wheat Fund (NYSEMKT: WEAT) was trading up about 1.4% before the report, and remained unchanged at $14.40, in a 52-week range of $13.31 to $19.71.

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