Agriculture Market Summary
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Texas Agriculture Market Summary 4/23/14

Posted 10 years 64 days ago by

  • Feeder cattle steady; futures higher.
  • Fed cattle cash trade inactive; futures higher; beef prices higher.
  • Cotton higher.
  • Grains higher; soybeans lower.
  • Crude oil lower; natural gas higher.
  • Stock markets modestly higher.


Texas auctions reported feeder cattle prices were steady compared to last week, with only a limited number of reports. Several auctions were closed on Monday for Easter and receipts at Amarillo were too light to call a trend. Decatur was higher on steers, but lower on heifers. Feeder cattle futures were higher in spite of higher corn futures. The fed cattle cash trade was quiet through Tuesday after slipping more than a dollar lower last week. Reports pegged initial asking prices this week at about $148 per cwt, up $2 from last week. The TCFA volume and price summary shows 68,400 head in formula trades this week, down 11% from the 76,800 a week ago. Wholesale beef values were higher and estimated cattle slaughter for the week continues to run well below both last week and a year ago. Fed cattle futures were higher.

Cotton cash prices and futures were higher, mostly due to the very dry conditions on the Texas High Plains. All of that area is suffering from extreme to exceptional drought and all the state’s major cotton producing regions are in some degree of drought, except for a few counties along the Upper Coast and in the LRGV. The USDA ag attaché in Australia said its production and exports are expected to decline this year due to “adverse seasonal conditions.” Australia is the world’s third largest cotton exporter behind the U.S. and India.

Wheat prices were higher yesterday as traders refocused on the dry conditions in winter wheat areas and spring wheat planting delays in the Northern Plains. Ongoing tensions in Ukraine were also a factor. However, world wheat supplies remain and ample and U.S. export inspections were down 30 percent from a week earlier and 31% below a year ago.

Corn and grain sorghum prices were higher on reports of large corn sales to Mexico and South Korea, as well as disappointment that only 6% of the U.S. corn crop was planted as of Sunday.  One report noted, “While it is still early, the market will be looking for a big increase next week to ease concerns over the timeliness of this crop.” However, forecasts are calling for cooler, wet weather in parts of the Corn Belt.  

Stock markets closed modestly higher yesterday following generally positive corporate earnings and economic reports. The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of existing homes declined less than expected during March and the Richmond Federal Reserve manufacturing index came in much better than expected. A measure of retail same-store sales was also higher for last week and the strongest since the post-Christmas sales period in early January. Netflix, Xerox, Comcast and Harley Davidson reported better than expected first quarter earnings and revenue.

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.