Agriculture Market Summary
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Texas Agriculture Market Summary 4/24/14

Posted 10 years 63 days ago by

  • Feeder cattle $5 lower to $5 higher; futures higher.
  • Fed cattle cash trade inactive; futures higher; beef prices higher.
  • Cotton lower.
  • Grains higher; soybeans lower.
  • Crude oil and natural gas lower.
  • Stock markets lower.


Texas auctions reported feeder cattle prices were $5 lower to $5 higher per cwt compared to their previous sale, with a few as much as $8 higher. Feeder cattle supply/demand fundamentals remain very supportive, as they have for some time now. However, prices will continue to fluctuate somewhat from day to day. Feeder cattle futures were higher. The fed cattle cash trade remained inactive across all major U.S. cattle feeding regions as early packer bids of $142-$144 failed to attract any attention. Reports have feedlots asking $148 or more. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher yesterday and estimated cattle slaughter for the week continues to run well behind both last week and a year ago. Fed cattle futures were higher.

Cotton cash prices were lower and futures were mostly lower, with only the nearby May contract posting a solid increase. There was not much fresh news to move the market much in either directions so traders took note of improved rain chances in the forecast for the Texas Plains. Although, I’m not sure what they were looking at – the 10-day forecast for Lubbock includes only a 10% chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday and 0% for every other day.

Wheat prices were higher ahead of today’s exports report. Traders remained concerned about dry conditions on the U.S. Plains, possible damage from last week’s freeze, especially in areas north of Texas, and ongoing tensions in Ukraine.

Corn and grain sorghum prices were higher on concerns about potential planting delays in the Midwest and a report that China bought 120,000 metric tons of U.S. grain sorghum.

Stock markets closed lower yesterday after the Commerce Department reported that new home sales during March fell 14.5% to an annualized rate of 384,000, well below the 450,000 expected. Corporate earnings reports were mostly supportive. Boeing, Northrup Grumman, Proctor & Gamble, and AT&T all beat expectations for profits and/or revenues. Gilead, the “biotech behemoth that took a beating earlier this month,” also reported much better than expected quarterly results. Apple and Facebook issued their quarterly reports after markets closed, with both reporting stronger than expected quarterly numbers.

This week’s U.S. Drought Monitor (click here for the Texas map or here for the U.S. map and summary) showed a deterioration in overall conditions in Texas, with 86 percent of the state now rated as abnormally dry or in some degree of drought, compared to 82 percent a week ago. Areas in the two worst categories of extreme and exceptional drought increased to cover a large part of West Texas. Almost all the High Plains and Northern Low Plains are in exceptional drought. Parts of East and South Texas and the Trans-Pecos remains drought-free. Nationally, conditions also slipped somewhat with 50 percent the contiguous states reported in some degree of abnormal dryness or drought, up two percentage points from a week 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. Commentary is the author’s alone and does not in any way convey official TDA policies.