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Texas Agriculture Market Summary 4/17/14

Posted 10 years 70 days ago by

There will not be a market summary tomorrow, April 18, as TDA offices will be closed for the Good Friday holiday. Commodity exchanges and stock markets will also be closed, but federal reports will be released as usual.


  • Feeder cattle mostly $4 lower to $4 higher; futures higher.
  • Fed cattle cash trade $1 lower; futures higher; beef prices higher.
  • Cotton higher.
  • Grains lower; soybeans higher.
  • Crude oil higher; natural gas lower.
  • Stock markets higher.


Texas auctions reported feeder cattle prices were $4 lower to $4 higher compared to last week’s sale. One location was steady to $5 lower on feeder heifers, but $5-$10 higher on feeder steers. Market fundamentals remain very supportive of feeder prices, but lower futures markets, higher grain prices and weaker fed cattle markets may also be starting to pull prices down from record highs. Feeder cattle futures were higher in response to lower corn futures. Fed cattle cash prices were down $1 from last week’s average to $146 per cwt. However, travel volume was again very light with only 1,100 head of confirmed cash sales in the USDA report and with comments from other sources indicating they were mostly lesser-quality cattle. Wholesale beef prices were higher. Estimated cattle slaughter through Wednesday was down from both last week and a year ago. Fed cattle futures were higher.

Cotton cash prices and futures were higher yesterday in anticipation of a better export sales report this morning. Economic data out of China was somewhat bullish. During the first quarter, China’s economy expanded 7.4% from a year earlier, the lowest quarterly growth since the third quarter of 2012 but slightly better than pre-report expectations. There was also a chance of rain in the forecast for the Texas High Plains.

Wheat prices were lower as traders refocused on large world wheat supplies. Dry conditions on the U.S. Plains and tensions in Ukraine remain bullish for wheat prices, but global supplies continue to limit the potential gains. Corn and grain sorghum prices were also lower, mostly due to speculative profit-taking on the underlying futures contract and forecasts remain favorable planting weather. There have been some planting delays, but mostly in states with a relatively small percentage of the U.S. crop.

Stock markets closed higher yesterday after China’s first quarter economic growth came in a little better than expected and after supportive comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen. On the down side, the Commerce Department reported that new home construction starts rose less than expected during March and building permits fell more than pre-report expectations.

This week’s U.S. Drought Monitor (click here for the Texas map or here for the U.S. map and summary) showed little change in overall conditions in Texas, with 82 percent of the state still rated as abnormally dry or in some degree of drought. However, the percentage in the worst category of exceptional drought increased by three points to 10 percent, all in the High Plains and Northwest Texas. Much of East and South Texas and the Trans-Pecos remains drought-free. Nationally, conditions improved somewhat with 49 percent the contiguous states reported in some degree of abnormal dryness or drought, down one percentage point from a week ago.

The fertilizer plant explosion in West that killed 15 people and injured hundreds happened a year ago today. Please take a moment to remember the victims of the explosion and for the continued recovery of the town and its residents.

The National Grain and Feed Association said that a report it commissioned shows that U.S. farmers have lost more than $1 billion because of China’s rejection of U.S. corn because it contained an unapproved GMO variety.

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.