Commodities & Metals

Record-High Meat Prices for U.S. Consumers

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its preliminary report on August farm prices Thursday afternoon. The all-products price index was unchanged month-over-month at 109, with the crop index down 2.2% and the livestock index down 0.8%. The August all-products index is up 3.8% year-over-year. The index uses prices from 2011 as its base value (100).

Earlier this week the USDA projected farm net income in the U.S. this year at $113.2 billion, about $7.7 billion higher than the agency’s February forecast. Livestock revenues are expected to rise to $209.6 billion, up more than 15% over 2013.

The USDA noted that August’s higher prices for cattle, milk, apples, and broccoli offset lower prices for corn, broilers, soybeans, and wheat. Prices paid by farmers in the month fell 1 index point in August to 111 and 6 index points higher compared with August 2013.

The price farmers received for livestock is 23% higher than it was a year ago and the price for meat animals is 30% higher. The August hog price is down $5 per hundredweight since July, but up $14.10 compared with August 2013. Beef prices are up $39 per hundredweight compared with the August 2013 price and up $4 compared with last month.

Both corn and wheat prices remain significantly lower than they were a year ago, with year-over-year all wheat prices down $1.03 a bushel at $5.85 and feed corn down $2.51 at $3.70 a bushel.

Dairy prices are up 1.7% month-over-month and up 20% year-over-year.

The prices farmers paid for feeder pigs dropped from $293 per hundredweight in July to $242. A year ago feeder pigs cost $134 per hundredweight. The

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

The Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (NYSEMKT: MOO) is down fractionally at $54.40 in a 52-week range of $48.75 to $55.55.

The PowerShares DB Agriculture fund (NYSEMKT: DBA) trades up 0.8% at $26.40 in a 52-week range of $24.04 to $29.41.

The Teucrium Corn Fund (NYSEMKT: CORN) is up 0.7% today at $25.96 in a 52-week range of $25.30 to $36.95.

The Teucrium Wheat Fund (NYSEMKT: WEAT) trades up about 1.5% on Wednesday at $13.01 in a 52-week range is $12.50 to $17.69.

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