Texas Daily Ag Market Summary 5/30/14

Posted 4 years 268 days ago ago by Texas Department of Agriculture

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


Feeder cattle prices reported by Texas auctions were mostly steady to stronger and feeder cattle future continued to press higher. Demand for feeders remains strong in spite of the high prices and stagnant fed cattle markets. Buyers know they are facing several more years of tight supplies. All signs point to a rebuilding of the beef cattle herd, but much depends on pasture conditions and the availability of adequate forage. Even under favorable conditions, it will take a couple years for the offspring from an expanding herd to reach the meat case. Futures continue to set record highs as values approach the $200 mark. The fed cattle cash trade was 61 cents lower per cwt on 4,400 head of confirmed sales. Wholesale boxed beef values were lower. Estimated cattle slaughter through Thursday was well below both last week and a year ago. Fed cattle futures were higher.

Cotton prices were higher as buying interest picked up following recent price declines and in anticipation of a bullish exports report this morning (delayed from Thursday because of the Monday holiday). The Memorial Day rains across Texas Cotton Country continued to pressure the market as they make it more likely that most of this year’s intended cotton acreage will be planted. However, timely rains are still needed

Wheat prices were lower yesterday as large world supplies and weak demand continue to pressure the market. There were some rising concerns about dry weather in the Black sea region.

Corn and grain sorghum prices were also lower. There are some ongoing corn planting delays in the Upper Midwest and eastern Corn Belt, but those have largely been overshadowed by favorable growing conditions elsewhere.

Texas farmer Elmo Snelling is 100 years old and still actively farming near Plainview. Watch the Texas Farm Bureau video here or at http://bcove.me/s0ut9r95

LSU Ag Center researchers said yesterday that this year’s crawfish season has been shortened by dry conditions last fall and a colder than normal winter. The pond-raised season is winding down now as crawfish burrow down for the summer. However, the wild catch is just now starting to come in so fresh crawfish should still be available for a few more weeks.

In its Outlook for U.S. Agricultural Trade report yesterday, the USDA’s Economic Research Service increased its export forecast by $6.9 billion to a record-high $149.5 billion. For livestock, poultry, and dairy, the report raises the 2014 export forecast by $600 million to a record $32.2 billion, with increases in dairy and beef more than offsetting declines in pork and poultry. The forecast for grain and feed exports is boosted $4.5 billion to $35.8 billion due to higher prices for wheat and greater volumes and prices for corn and feeds and fodders  The report projects the value of 2014 U.S. agricultural imports at $110.5 billion, leaving a projected positive trade balance of $39 billion, up from the February projection of $32.7 billion.

Stock markets closed higher yesterday, with the S&P 500 setting another record high. The Commerce Department reported that U.S. GDP declined by 1% during the first quarter, larger than pre-report expectations for a 0.5% decline. This was the first negative reading since the first quarter of 2011. However, the drop has been largely discounted because of the unusually harsh winter weather during the quarter. Expectations are that the economy will grow by 3% during the second quarter. The Labor Department reported that new unemployment claims fell much more than expected last week. The National Association of Realtors reported that signed contracts to buy previously-owned homes rose less than expected during April and were down 9% in a year-to-year 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. Commentary is the author’s alone and does not in any way convey official TDA policies.