Texas Daily Ag Market Summary 5/22/14

Posted 7 years 157 days ago ago by Texas Department of Agriculture

  • Feeder cattle steady to $5 higher; futures higher.
  • Fed cattle cash trade inactive; futures lower; beef prices higher.
  • Cotton higher.
  • Grain sorghum and soybeans higher; corn unchanged to higher; wheat, rice lower.
  • Crude oil higher; natural gas lower.
  • Stock markets higher.


Feeder cattle prices reported by Texas auctions were steady to $5 higher compared to their previous sale. Abilene and Hamilton were fully steady. Crockett was steady on calves under 400 lbs. and $2-$4 higher on heavier weights. El Campo and Four County Auction at Industry was steady to $3 higher. Meridian and Milano were $3-$5 higher. Texas Cattle Exchange at Eastland was steady to $3 higher on steers, but $5 lower on heifers. Feeder cattle futures were higher. The fed cattle cash trade remained inactive through Wednesday with asking prices still at about $147-$148 versus packer bids at $142. Newswires reported a few head in the north sold at prices steady with last week. Wholesale boxed beef values were higher. Estimated cattle slaughter through Wednesday was up 1,000 head from last week, but down 24,000 from a last year. Fed cattle futures were lower.

Cotton cash prices and futures were higher. Traders are looking for an increase in export sales following the price declines over the past week and a half. The very dry conditions on the Texas Plains remain a major concern, though some locations may see a little relief if the thunderstorms forecast for the next few days actually materialize (and don’t bring along too much hail and damaging winds).

Wheat prices continued to slide lower, in spite of concerns about this year’s U.S. winter wheat crop. The rain forecast for the Southern Plains might also bring some much-needed moisture for wheat, but will likely be too little, too late to help a crop already damaged by winter kill and drought. However, large world supplies and weak global demand still pressure the market. As one report noted, “Wheat … will need some support in today’s export sales report if it hopes to get any significant gains.”

Corn and grain sorghum prices were unchanged to higher, mostly because of spillover from sharply higher soybean prices. Ethanol data were also supportive, with higher production last week and lower stocks in storage. Price gains were limited yesterday by expectations for a good U.S. crop and, as with wheat, markets are looking to the export data for support.

Stock markets closed higher yesterday after Federal Reserve meeting minutes yielded no surprises. As expected, Fed members began putting together a plan for raising interest rates, but stressed that the move was well into the futures and would only happen when economic conditions were supportive.

This week’s U.S. Drought Monitor (click here for the Texas map or here for the U.S. map and summary) showed 90% of the state rated abnormally dry or in some degree of drought, down one percentage point from a week ago. However, the area in the worst category, exceptional drought, increased by 5 points to 25%. Much of the state west of I-35 is now in extreme and exceptional drought, the two most severe categories. Nationally, conditions improved somewhat with 48 percent the contiguous states reported in some degree of abnormal dryness or drought, down one percentage point 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.