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WEEKLY EXPORT REPORT: Soybeans flex; corn fails to follow

Strong demand continues to lift soybeans despite huge U.S. crop.

By Ben Potter

Despite a few bumps in the road, soybeans have been steadily climbing out of a late-summer slump that bottomed out in mid-August. Another week of better-than-expected export sales may keep the upward trend going.

In the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest weekly export sales report (for the week ending Sept. 7), soybeans beat USDA and trade estimates for a second week running, with 59.3 million bu. reported in old-crop sales. Trade estimates were for 42.3 million bu., while the USDA forecast was only for 24.9 million bu.

Soybean export shipments were also slightly ahead of USDA forecasts, at 42.3 million bu. shipped compared to a 41.0 million bu. forecast. Primary destinations included China (25 million bu.), Indonesia (3.8 million bu.), Mexico (3.1 million bu.), Vietnam (2.6 million bu.) and Pakistan (2.4 million bu.).

Corn was not able to match the pace set by soybeans. For the week ending Sept. 7, old-crop corn sales fell to 41.2 million bu., down from 58.3 million bu. in the previous week. Sales still managed to beat the USDA forecast and trade estimates, however. USDA had forecasted 29.6 million bu. in export sales, while trade estimates were more optimistic, with 37.4 million bu. Top sales were reported for Mexico, Colombia, Japan and Korea, with some reductions reported from Panama.

Corn export shipments totaled 28.1 million bu. last week, including the primary destinations of Mexico (15.2 million bu.), Colombia (3.9 million bu.), Japan (3.4 million bu.), Peru (2.0 million bu.) and Venezuela (1.2 million bu.).

Wheat posted an anemic 11.6 million bu. in old-crop sales for the week ending Sept. 7. That was below last week’s totals of 13.8 million bu., the trade estimate of 16.5 million bu. and the USDA forecast of 13.6 million bu. Net sales were down 16% from a week ago and were 34% off the four-week average.

Export shipments were 16.2 million bu., also down from the USDA forecast of 18.6 million bu. but up 94% from a week ago as rail and port disruptions last month from Hurricane Harvey get back on line. The pace still lags 12% behind the four-week average. Primary destinations included Japan (5.7 million bu.), Mexico (3.0 million bu.), Colombia (2.4 million bu.), Thailand (1.8 million bu.) and Venezuela (1.1. million bu.).

Sorghum sales totaled 8.7 million bu. in new-crop sales, primarily from China and unknown destinations, which were partially offset by small reductions from Mexico.

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