Agriculture Market Summary
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TDA Daily Market Summary 2/25/2014

Posted 10 years 90 days ago by

  • Feeder cattle auctions mostly steady to $3 higher; futures mostly higher.
  • Fed cattle cash trade inactive; futures mostly lower; beef prices higher.
  • Cotton higher.
  • Corn and grain sorghum lower; wheat and rice higher; soybeans higher.
  • Crude oil higher; natural gas lower.
  • Stock markets higher.


Texas auctions reported feeder cattle prices mostly steady to $3 higher, with a few as much as $10 higher and some were $3 or more lower on a portion of their offerings. Several locations saw 5-weight steers top out well above $200 per cwt and at the OKC National Stockyards, a group of fancy 524 lb. feeder steers averaged $275.65. Last week’s National Feeder Cattle Summary noted increased competition for stocker-type cattle that are ready to turn out on grass this spring and steep discounts on fleshy calves and other types that might have a tough transition to an all-grass diet. Feeder cattle futures were mostly higher in response to lower corn futures. The fed cattle cash trade was inactive yesterday after posting a $2.50 gain last week. Reports have initial asking prices at $147-$148. No word yet on packer bids. The TCFA daily volume and price summary shows 53,400 head in formula trades this week, down 4,000 from a week ago. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher yesterday. Estimated daily cattle slaughter totaled 99,000 head, compared to 90,000 both last week and a year ago. Fed cattle futures were higher in response to the higher beef values.

Cotton cash prices were higher mostly due to speculative buying of the underlying futures contract. Traders are becoming increasingly concerned about dry conditions in West Texas, noting that the High Plains and Rolling Plains, which account for 27% of the U.S. crop, are entering their fourth year of drought. Planting has not started yet in South Texas “as farmers wait for calmer, warmer weather.” There were reports that China purchased another 195,000 metric tons of cotton for their reserves last week, in spite of plans to end such purchases beginning with the 2014 crop.

Corn and grain sorghum prices were lower. Weekly corn export inspections fell within the expected range, which proved neutral for prices. Wire service reports noted that last week’s corn outlook from USDA was bearish for prices and that political situation in Ukraine is settling down so U.S. exports might not get much of a boost. Overall demand is relatively strong, but the large corn supplies will keep a lid on prices until traders sense some threat to this year’s crop. The weekly USDA NASS crop progress report noted that “Producers in the Coastal Bend resumed corn planting and prepared to plant sorghum for grain. Cool soil temperatures delayed corn planting in the Blacklands.” Three percent of the expected corn acreage has been planted.

Wheat prices were higher mostly due to speculative buying, ongoing concerns about winter freeze damage and higher weekly export inspections. Cumulative inspections for the year total 23.3 million metric tons, compared to 18.2 MMT at this point last year. Wheat condition declined a little again this week, according the USDA NASS.

Stock markets closed higher yesterday with the S&P 500 finishing just below its all-time record high. There was little fresh news for the day, but investors continued to brush off weak economic reports “that were said to be weighed down by bad weather across the U.S.” There was a little good news from Europe as a German business confidence index came in higher than a month ago.


Disclaimer: The information compiled in the Daily Market Summary is obtained from a variety of sources, including those available on the Internet, that are believed to be reliable and accurate, but are in no way guaranteed. This information is intended to provide only a summary of market trends and a daily snapshot of agricultural markets and economic indicators. It should not be relied upon as a sole source of market information.