Agriculture Market Summary
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Texas Daily Ag Market Summary 10/23/14

Posted 9 years 179 days ago by

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

Texas feeder cattle auctions quoted prices steady with a week ago at all reporting locations. Feeder cattle futures were higher. The fed cattle cash trade remained inactive through Wednesday, while formula trades were nearly $1 higher. Reports noted that packer bids of $165 live and $260 dressed failed to attract any cattle. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher. Estimated cattle harvest so far this week totals 341,000 head, up 5K from a week ago, but down 31K from last year. Fed cattle futures were higher. Cattle and beef markets have become more volatile recently and that is to be expected when prices across the sector are at or near record-high levels. Buyers stay out of the market as long as they can in hopes that maybe they can catch a dip in prices, and then when supplies start running short, they have to jump back in and pay whatever they must.  

Cotton cash prices were unchanged and futures were mixed, with most of the current marketing year contracts modestly lower and later contracts modestly higher. There was no fresh fundamental news so trading stayed in a narrow range on both sides of unchanged. There were reports of hail damage in some areas and harvest has been slow, but the large crop this year and increasing harvest-time supplies in the short term will likely continue to pressure prices. Falling oil prices are also a concern for cotton since cheaper oil means cheaper synthetic fibers.

Wheat prices were higher yesterday with no new information to move markets much in either direction. Planting delays here and dry conditions in Australia are ongoing concerns.

Corn and grain sorghum prices were lower as improving weather conditions in the Corn Belt are expected to boost harvest progress.

This week’s U.S. Drought Monitor (click here for the Texas map or here for the U.S. map and summary) showed a modest decline in conditions in Texas with 70% of the state now in some degree of drought or abnormal dryness, up one percentage point from a week ago. Even so, conditions are much better now than they were a year ago, when 87% of the state was suffering from drought. There is a pocket of extreme drought west of San Antonio and a larger area suffering under extreme and exceptional drought that runs from west of Fort Worth through the Panhandle to Dalhart. Nationally, the total acreage experiencing abnormal dryness or some degree of drought was near unchanged at 44% percent of the contiguous states.

Stock markets closed lower again yesterday with most of the major indexes down around 1%. “Traders said there was no single factor driving the selloff and noted that market activity was quieter than in recent days.” Some were selling stocks to take advantage of the recent rally and many investors are increasingly cautious following the big market swings over the past week or so.

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.