Weekly Export Sales: ‘King Corn’ reigns this week

Corn exports capture a marketing-year high for 2017/18.

Grain markets are shrugging off big export numbers from corn, which hit a 2017/18 marketing-year high for the week ending March 8.  Soybeans also topped industry estimates for the week, meantime, while wheat exports slumped. 

Corn old crop sales totaled 98.6 million bushels for the week ending March 8, with another 3.9 million bushels in new crop sales for a total of 102.6 million bushels. That total – a marketing-year high – was significantly higher than last week’s total of 73.1 million bushels and even higher than trade estimates of 61.0 million bushels. Last week’s performance also pushed down the weekly rate needed to meet USDA’s forecast, now at 20.3 million bushels.

Corn export shipments reached 55.4 million bushels. This was also a marketing-year high, landing 31% above the prior week and 40% above the four-week average. Japan was the No. 1 destination, with 14.2 million bushels, followed by Mexico, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and Colombia.

Soybean export sales also beat trade estimates of 42.3 million bushels last week, scooping up 46.7 million bushels in old crop sales plus another 2.8 million bushels in new crop sales. That total is significantly lower than the prior week’s total of 92.2 million bushels, however, but still managed to push down the weekly rate needed to hit USDA forecasts, now at 10.2 million bushels.

Soybean export shipments of 33.1 million bushels fell 10% below the prior week’s total and 14% below the prior four-week average. China, the usual No. 1 destination, held that spot once more with 16.3 million bushels. Other top destinations included Egypt, Indonesia, Japan and Mexico.

Wheat export sales, in contrast, did not meet trade estimates of 16.5 million bushels, instead tallying 6.0 million bushels in old crop sales plus another 2.1 million bushels in new crop sales for a total of 8.1 million bushels. That total also fell below the prior week’s 14.4 million bushels, and the weekly rate to reach USDA forecasts moved slightly higher to 9.4 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments of 12.4 million bushels fell 7% below the prior week’s totals and 16% below the prior four-week average. Last week’s No. 1 destination was the Philippines, with 3.6 million bushels. Other top destinations included Morocco, China, Mexico and Algeria.  

Sorghum net sales were just 232,272 bushels after China purchases barely bested cancellations from unknown destinations. Shipments of 7.3 million bushels were 42% below the prior week’s totals and 9% off the four-week average.

Cotton export sales of 321,400 bales slipped 16% below the prior week’s total and were 11% below the four-week average.

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