Agriculture Market Summary
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TDA Daily Agriculture Market Summary 4/14/14

Posted 10 years 73 days ago by

  • Feeder cattle steady to $6 higher, few $1 lower; futures higher.
  • Fed cattle cash trade inactive; futures higher; beef prices lower.
  • Cotton cash prices unchanged; futures mostly higher.
  • Grains and soybeans mostly lower, except rice futures higher.
  • Crude oil higher; natural gas lower.
  • Stock markets lower.


Texas auctions reported feeder cattle prices mostly steady to $6 higher per cwt, with one location reporting prices steady to $1 lower and another lower on feeder cattle weighing 800 lbs. or more. The Texas direct feeder cattle trade was steady on cattle under 800 lbs., but lower on heavier weights in a limited test. The national feeder cattle summary said, “Compared to last week, feeder cattle and calves sold unevenly steady with the majority of sales ranging from 3.00 higher to 3.00 lower. Most pressure was seen on heavyweight feeders over 800 lbs. and soft new-crop calves that are progressively making up a larger percentage of receipts.” Feeder cattle futures were higher. The Texas fed cattle cash trade remained inactive Friday, with nothing reported from any source, official or unofficial. USDA reported that a few head sold in Kansas at $147 per cwt and some in Nebraska at $150.50 to $151. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower. Estimated cattle slaughter for the week came in lower than both the previous week and a year ago and is running 6.3% lower year-to-date. Fed cattle futures were higher.

Cotton cash prices and spot-month May futures were unchanged, but later futures contract months were higher. There was not any cotton specific news to move the market much either direction and futures markets drifted on both sides of steady for most of the day. Wire service reports noted that a pair of “huge buy orders” came in near the end of the session, pushing prices into positive territory.

Wheat prices were lower on Friday. In the absence of any fresh news, the market refocused on the large global wheat supplies and weak demand. Traders remained concerned about the dry conditions on the U.S. Plains and unrest in Ukraine, but as one report noted, those factors are largely priced into the market already and prices are  not likely to see a significant rally unless some new source of demand is found.  

Corn and grain sorghum prices followed wheat lower, with an added push from forecasts for rain and cooler temperatures in the Midwest. Wire service reported noted that, “there remains a lot of uncertainty surrounding the size of this year crop as well as the weather this summer, which is supporting prices at this time. If growers end up planting less than 92 million acres the market will become ultra-sensitive to changes in the weather this summer.”

Stock markets closed lower on Friday, with the Nasdaq Composite index again suffering the sharpest drop. The index lost 3.1% for the week and is down 8.2% since it peaked on March 5. Wire service reports noted that traders said there was no specific news behind the drop. Rather, it was a continuation of recent movement from riskier stocks into safer investments. Economic reports on Friday were positive. The Labor Department reported that the Producer Price Index increased more than expected during March, usually a good sign of increasing demand. Excluding food and fuel, the core index was even higher. A leading consumer sentiment index also came in higher than expected.

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. Commentary is the author’s alone and does not in any way convey official TDA policies.