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Texas Daily Ag Market Summary 4/29/14

Posted 10 years 31 days ago by

  • Feeder cattle mostly steady; futures higher.
  • Fed cattle cash trade inactive; futures higher; Choice beef prices higher, Select lower.
  • Cotton cash prices lower; futures mixed.
  • Grains and soybeans higher.
  • Crude oil and natural gas higher.
  • Stock markets mostly higher.


Texas auctions reported feeder cattle prices mostly steady, with one location $2-$4 higher. The National Stockyards in Oklahoma City reported steers and heifers under 7-800 lbs. steady and heavier weights $1-$5 higher. Feeder cattle futures were higher. Strong supply/demand fundamentals continue to support the feeder cattle market, though auctions are starting to see a little more fluctuation in prices. Several noted that buyers are still willing to pay top dollar for cattle in good condition, but are also discounting fleshy, short-weaned offerings that are prone to sickness and shrink. Last week’s USDA Cattle on Feed report was also a factor as lower than expected placement numbers boosted demand, and prices, for heavier weight feeders. The fed cattle cash trade was inactive yesterday after trading 50 cents to a dollar lower last week. The TCFA volume and price summary shows 60,000 head in formula trades this week, down from 68,400 last week. Monday’s estimated cattle slaughter was up from a week ago, but down from last year. Wholesale boxed beef values were modestly higher for Choice-grade offerings, but slightly lower for Select. Fed cattle futures were higher with the April contract set to expire at the end of tomorrow’s session.

Cotton cash prices were lower and futures were mixed, with old crop contracts lower and new crop contracts higher. Old crop cotton remains under pressure from the large world supplies, while new crop cotton prices are supported by the extremely dry and windy conditions on the Texas High Plains and planting delays in the Southeast U.S. Texas cotton planting was 15% complete, compared to 14% at this time last year and a 5-year average of 18%. Nationally, 13% of the crop is planted, equal to last year’s pace, but lower than the 18% average.

Wheat prices were higher because of stronger than expected weekly export inspections and the dry conditions on the U.S. Central Plains where most of the nation’s wheat is grown. Reports noted that parts of eastern Kansas and Oklahoma received some rain, but that most of the Southern Plains, including Texas, remained bone dry. USDA reported that 50% of the Texas winter wheat crop is headed, up from 43% last week, but lower than the 55% average. Crop condition ratings were near unchanged, with 13% of the acreage rated in good to excellent condition, down a point from last week, and acreage rated poor to very poor unchanged at 65%. Nationally, only 13% of the crop is headed, half the  26% average. The area rated in good to excellent condition slipped one point lower, while the acreage rated poor to very poor increases a point.

Corn and grain sorghum prices were higher for elevators that reported both Monday and last Friday, but shifts in the price ranges reported by USDA Market News pulled the daily averages lower. For grain sorghum, the top end of the price range dropped lower, while for corn, prices at the bottom of the range fell. Traders remain concerned about planting delays and pushed prices higher in spite of lower weekly export inspections for both corn and grain sorghum. The Texas corn crop is 64% planted, behind last year’s 68% and the 69% average. Nationally, corn was 19% planted, much higher than the 5% last year, but well behind the average 28% and much lower than expected. Texas grain sorghum is 67% planted, ahead of both last year and the average.

For additional information on crop progress and condition, click here for the weekly USDA NASS report for Texas and here for the national summary.

Stock markets bounced around during the session before closing mostly higher, with only the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite posting a decline, again. The National Association of Realtors reported that contracts to buy existing homes rose by 3.4% during March, much better than the 1% increase expected. There were no major earnings reports until after markets closed.

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.