Texas Daily Ag Market Summary 5/13/14

Posted 7 years 166 days ago ago by Texas Department of Agriculture

  • Feeder cattle mostly steady, few $2-$5 higher; futures higher.
  • Fed cattle cash trade inactive; futures lower; beef prices higher.
  • Cotton lower.
  • Grains and soybeans lower.
  • Crude oil higher; natural gas lower.
  • Stock markets higher.


Parts of Central, South and East Texas received significant rainfall overnight and the rain continues this morning from South Texas, north along the coast and into East Texas. The National Weather Service has not updated its precipitation map yet this morning, but very unofficial observations indicate that 2.5 to 3.5 inches fell south and southwest of Austin, 2.5 inches plus in the Houston area, and even more over parts of the Hill Country. That may be good news for the Highland Lakes. I will include the precipitation map in tomorrow’s daily summary.

Texas auctions reported feeder cattle prices mostly steady, with one location $2-$5 higher. The Oklahoma City National Stockyards were steady to $6 higher, with 5-weight and 7-weight steers reaching new record highs. The market reporter noted that feeders were in mostly average to gaunt condition, which always brings a premium over their fleshy brethren, which were selling at a $10-$15 per cwt discount. Feeder cattle futures were higher. The fed cattle cash trade was inactive yesterday after trading near unchanged last week. Reports have initial asking prices this week at $148-$150. No word yet on packer bids. The TCFA daily volume and price summary shows 69,900 in formula trades this week, up sharply from 61,900 last week. Estimated cattle slaughter yesterday totaled 116,000 head, down from both last week and a year ago. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher. Fed cattle futures were lower.

Cotton cash prices and old-crop futures were lower as markets continued to adjust to Friday’s USDA supply/demand reports. December new-crop cotton was also lower, but later months were higher, mostly due to concerns about the very dry conditions on the Texas High Plains. USDA has not issued any crop condition ratings yet for cotton, but soil moisture remains in very short to short supply throughout the area and the Drought Monitor shows most of it in extreme to exceptional drought. 24% of the Texas crop is planted, ahead of last year’s pace, but behind the 5-year average. Nationally, 22% of the intended cotton acreage is planted, behind both last year and the average.

Corn and grain sorghum prices were lower, under pressure from last week’s supply/demand report and expectations for a good weekly planting progress report. That report, issued after markets closed, did not disappoint. Corn planting in the major producing states covered by the report jumped to 59% complete, up from 29% last week and now ahead of both last year’s 26% and the 5-year average of 58%. Progress is not ahead of the average for 10 of the 18 major states. Planting is slower than normal in much of the Upper Midwest and in some eastern states. In Texas, corn planting is 80% complete, ahead of last year, but behind the average.

Wheat prices were also lower as prices remained under pressure from last week’s report showing large global supplies and slack demand. However, the market is still very concerned about dry conditions on the U.S. Southern Plains as rains continue to miss the area. Nationally, 42% of the winter wheat crop is rated in poor to very poor condition, up from 38% a week ago. In Texas, 68% of the wheat acreage is rated poor to very poor and the overall condition index of 33 points is down 3 points from a year this time last year.

Stock markets were solidly higher yesterday with the D-J Industrial Average and S&P 500 hitting new record highs. The tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite and small-cap Russell 2000, which have taken a beating lately, posted the largest percentage gains of the major indexes. Wire service reports said the gains resulted from hedge funds “piling back into stocks that retreated this year…rather than by big investors placing fresh bets on the market's future direction.” They noted that there was little fresh news behind the increase.

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.