Agriculture Market Summary
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Texas Agriculture Market Summary 4/21/14

Posted 10 years 66 days ago by

  • Feeder cattle steady to $5 higher; futures lower.
  • Fed cattle cash trade $1 lower; futures lower; beef prices higher.
  • Cotton cash prices unchanged; futures mixed.
  • Grains and soybeans mostly lower, except wheat higher.
  • Crude oil and natural gas higher.
  • Stock markets mostly higher.


Texas auctions reported feeder cattle prices steady to $5 higher per cwt compared to their previous sale. More than half the reporting locations said that prices were fully steady. The remaining locations were mostly steady to $5 higher, with the most advance on preconditioned offerings and heavier weight cattle. Feeder cattle futures were lower in spite of lower corn futures. The fed cattle cash trade lost a little more ground on Thursday and Friday, with averages around $145.50, down 50 cents from Wednesday and $1.50 lower than a week earlier. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher on Thursday. Estimated cattle slaughter for the week totaled 568,000 head, down from both the previous week and a year ago. Cumulative cattle slaughter for the year is running 6.4% behind this time last year.

USDA announced Friday that it will begin tracking cases of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) that has devastated U.S. pig crops since it first appeared here last year. The disease is not reportable under international standards, but USDA is increasing its efforts to get it under control. PEDv only affects young pigs, is not a risk to people and is not a food safety concern.

Weekly beef export sales totaled 21,900 metric tons (MT), the highest of the marketing year, up 18 percent from the previous week and 42 percent higher than the previous four-week average. The top buyers were Japan, Mexico and South Korea. Shipments of 12,700 MT were up three percent from a week earlier and equal to the average. The leading destinations were Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Cotton cash prices were unchanged, but futures were mixed, with old-crop contracts lower and new-crop higher. Ample current supplies are keeping a lid on old-crop prices, while dry conditions in Texas and California and planting delays elsewhere in the Cotton Belt supported new-crop cotton. Cotton export sales totaled 84,700 bales, compared to last week’s net cancellations of 10,900 bales and more than double the prior four-week average. However, they were still less than half the weekly average needed to meet USDA projections for the marketing year. The top buyers were China, Turkey and Vietnam. Export shipments of 280,200 bales were down eight percent from the previous week, two percent lower than the average, but more than five times higher than the average needed to meet the expected marketing year total. The primary destinations were also China, Turkey and Vietnam.

Wheat prices were higher following a very strong exports report and amid ongoing concerns about the situation in Ukraine. Dry conditions in winter wheat areas and planting delays for spring wheat were also supportive. Wheat export sales for the week totaled 438,000 MT, more than 10 times higher than the previous week’s marketing year low and up 48 percent from the prior four-week average. The top buyers were Brazil, Peru and Egypt. Shipments of 556,300 MT were unchanged from the previous week, but up nine percent from the average. The leading destinations were Japan, Mexico and Egypt.

Corn and grain sorghum prices were lower due to a weak export sales report and forecasts for improved planting conditions. Corn export sales totaled 601,900 MT, down nine percent from a week ago and 36 percent from the prior four-week average. The primary buyers were Japan, Israel and South Korea. Export shipments of 1,111,000 MT were down nine percent from the previous week and seven percent lower than the average. The top destinations were Japan, Mexico and Columbia.

Stock markets closed mostly higher on Thursday, the last trading day of the week, with only the Dow Industrial Average posting a modest decline. Economic news was bullish. The Labor Department reported that first time unemployment claims rose to 304,000 last week, below expectations for an increase to 315,000. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve manufacturing index came in much higher than expected. Corporate earnings were mixed. IBM and Google posted weaker than expected earnings and revenues. American Express, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and United Health reported better than expected earnings and revenue. General Electric and DuPont posted mixed results.

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.