Fresh Vegetables Drive October Farm Price Index Higher

Source: Thinkstock
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its preliminary report on October farm prices Thursday afternoon. The October all-products price index rose by 1 point (0.5%) to 187 month-over-month, with the crop index down 1.5% and the livestock index unchanged. The preliminary all-products index is down 11% year-over-year. The index uses prices from 1990-1992 as its base value (100).

The USDA noted that October’s higher prices for concentrates, feeder cattle, feeder pigs, and nitrogen offset lower prices for feed grains, complete feeds, diesel fuel, and gasoline as the prices paid in the month rose just 0.5% compared with September and were flat with October 2012.

Prices received by farmers slipped 1.5% from September and were 15% below prices received in October 2012. Prices received rose the most for commercial vegetables (up 23% from September) and upland cotton (up 4.9%). Feed grains and hay, potatoes and dry beans, and oilseeds were all lower month-over-month. Compared with September 2012, commercial vegetables prices are a 36% higher than October a year ago.

Meat prices were up 1.9% year-over-year in October, with hogs down about 1.4% and beef cattle down about 1%.

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

The Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (NYSEMKT: MOO) was trading down about 0.2% before the USDA report was released. About half an hour before markets close today shares are down about the same amount at $52.59 in a 52-week range of $48.75 to $56.55.

The PowerShares DB Agriculture fund (NYSEMKT: DBA) was trading down about 0.4% before the report, and remained roughly flat at $25.07, in a 52-week range of $24.36 to $29.17.

The Teucrium Corn Fund (NYSEMKT: CORN) traded down about 0.5% and remained unchanged at $32.31 in a 52-week range of $32.25 to $48.61.

The Teucrium Wheat Fund (NYSEMKT: WEAT) was trading down about 1.3%before the report, and remained unchanged at $16.65, in a 52-week range of $16.02 to $25.09.