Commodities & Metals

Farm Prices Slip as Livestock Production Falls

Pigs
Source: Thinkstock
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its preliminary report on December farm prices Friday afternoon. The all-products price index fell 1% month-over-month to 100, with the crop production index up 1% and the livestock production index down 7%. The December prices-received index is unchanged from December 2013. The index uses prices from 2011 as its base value (100).

The USDA noted December’s higher prices received for corn, eggs, soybeans, and grain sorghum offset lower prices for milk, broilers, lettuce, and cattle. Prices paid by farmers in the month rose to 111, 5 index points higher compared with December 2013.

The price farmers received for livestock is 13% higher than it was a year ago and the price for meat animals is 23% higher. The December hog price is down $2.40 per hundredweight since November, but up $2.80 compared with December 2013. Beef prices are up $34 per hundredweight compared with the December 2013 price and down $3 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 $0.62 a bushel at $6.11 and feed corn down $0.63 at $3.78 a bushel.

Dairy prices are down 11% month-over-month and down 7.3% year-over-year. Market egg prices rose $0.29 compared with November prices to $1.66 a dozen. A dozen eggs has jumped $0.45 in a year, a rise of 27%.

The prices farmers paid for feeder pigs rose $11 to $217 per hundredweight in December. Feeder cattle prices fell $7 per hundredweight to $250 in December.

Here is how some agriculture-related exchange traded funds trading Friday:

The Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (NYSEMKT: MOO) was down about 0.6%, at $53.37 in a 52-week range of $49.21 to $56.03.

The PowerShares DB Agriculture fund (NYSEMKT: DBA) traded down about 0.2%, at $23.15 in a 52-week range of $23.014 to $29.41. The low was posted earlier in the day.

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