TDA Daily Market Summary 2/21/2014

Posted 4 years 32 days ago ago by Texas Department of Agriculture

  • Feeder cattle auctions mostly steady to $2 higher; futures lower.
  • Fed cattle cash trade mostly inactive; futures higher; Choice beef higher, Select lower.
  • Cotton lower.
  • Corn, grain sorghum, soybeans higher; wheat, rice lower.
  • Crude oil and natural gas lower.
  • Stock markets higher.


Texas auctions reported feeder cattle prices mostly steady to $2 higher, though one location was $2 lower on a portion of its offerings and another was as much as $10 higher. Market fundamentals remain very supportive, but an occasional dip in prices is also to be expected depending on local factors, the type and condition of the cattle being offered and more. It’s just tough for prices for any commodity to stay on a solid upward trajectory. Feeder cattle futures were lower in response to higher corn futures. The fed cattle cash trade was mostly inactive yesterday, though about 100 head traded in the Panhandle on a dresses basis at $226 per cwt, up $4 from last week and the equivalent of $143.50 live. Beef prices were mixed, with Choice cuts slightly higher and Select-grade offerings slightly lower. Estimated daily cattle slaughter continues to run well above a week ago, but below the same week last year. Fed cattle futures were higher.

Cotton cash prices and futures were lower yesterday after USDA said U.S. planted acres are expected to increase to 11.5 million acres in 2014, up about 250,000 acres from a National Cotton Council survey earlier this month and 13% higher than the 10.2 million acres planted last year. The agency expects cotton prices to decline. The weekly export report was delayed until this morning due to Monday’s President’s Day holiday.

Corn and grain sorghum prices were higher, mostly due to speculative and fund buying on the underlying corn futures, continued political unrest in Ukraine, which might increase the potential for U.S. corn exports and lower projected planted acres in the U.S. USDA said yesterday that it expects corn plantings to decline to 92 million acres in 2014, down from the 95 million planted last year. Even so, it expects prices to also decline. The agency also said that tight global supplies make grain and soybean prices vulnerable to “price shocks” if 2014 production is threatened. Wheat prices were modestly lower as there was little fresh news to move the market much in either direction.

USDA NASS yesterday released preliminary results of the 2012 Census of Agriculture for a few items at the national and state levels. The number of farms and ranches in Texas stayed near unchanged at 248,810 (247,437 in 2007). Land in farms and ranches declined modestly to 130.2 million acres from 130.4 million in 2007. Texas’ market value of agricultural products sold rose by $4.4 billion to $25.4 billion. Market value per farm/ranch increased, as did the numbers of women, Hispanic and African-American farm/ranch operators. Texas leads the nation in number of farms/ranches, land in farms/ranches, and in the number of women, Hispanic and African-American farm/ranch operators. The average age of the principal farm/ranch operator increased from 58.9 in 2007 to 60.1 in 2012. The preliminary report is available on the USDA NASS Ag Census web site. Full Census of Agriculture results are scheduled for release in May 2014.

Stock markets ended the day higher in spite of mixed economic data, as investors try to sort out “whether the slowdown that we've seen is the weather, or if there's something else going on.” The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank reported that its manufacturing index for February was negative for the first time in nine months, but it attributed much of the weakness to severe winter weather. The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index for January rose 0.3%, slightly lower than the 0.4% increase expected. Private firm Markit said that its index of U.S. manufacturing activity showed the strongest monthly improvement since May 2010. The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims for the week were very near pre-report expectations at 336,000, down from 339,000 a week earlier. In a separate report, the Labor Department said that the Consumer Price Index rose 0.1% during January, matching expectations. For the past 12 months, the index is up 1.6%. Core inflation, excluding food and fuel, was also up 0.1%, compared to expectations for a 0.2% increase. The core index is also up 1.6% on an annual basis.


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.