Weekly Export Sales: Soybeans continue sluggish pace

Corn and wheat totals stick closer to trade estimates last week.

The latest USDA weekly export sales report offered mixed results, as it often does. Corn tallies bested trade estimates, while soybean and wheat totals fell a bit short.

Corn export sales reached 69.7 million bushels for the week ending Feb. 1. That was slightly below the prior week’s total of 72.9 million bushels but ended up moderately higher than trade estimates of 53.2 million bushels. It also stayed well ahead of the weekly rate needed to reach USDA’s forecast, now at 19.5 million bushels.

Corn export shipments landed at 37.8 million bushels, which was behind the rate needed to reach USDA’s forecast, at 44.8 million bushels. The total remained 22% higher than the prior four-week average, however. Japan was the No. 1 destination, with 16.4 million bushels, followed by Mexico, South Korea, Peru and Colombia.

Soybean export sales landed 11% above the prior four-week average, although total sales of 27.6 million bushels failed to meet trade estimates of 33.1 million bushels. Totals did more than double the prior week’s total of 13.2 million bushels, which was a 2017/18 marketing year low.

Soybean export shipments reached a more robust 56.5 million bushels last week, which stayed well ahead of the rate needed to reach USDA’s forecast, now at 29.4 million bushels, and was 22% higher than the prior four-week average. China occupied the usual No. 1 position, with 29.7 million bushels, followed by the Netherlands, Japan, Germany and Thailand.

Wheat exports totaled 14.5 million bushels in old crop sales, plus another 800,000 bushels in new crop sales. That bested the prior week’s total of 10.7 million bushels, but failed to match trade estimates of 16.5 million bushels. The weekly pace needed to reach USDA’s forecast is now 12.8 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments reached 17.3 million bushels, which is behind the current weekly rate needed to match USDA forecasts (24.6 million bushels). Totals also lagged 9% behind the prior week, but were 17% higher than the prior four-week average. Japan was the No. 1 destination, with more than 3.9 million bushels. Other top destinations included Indonesia, Algeria, morocco and Nigeria.

Modest sorghum sales of 2.9 million bushels went to China, Japan and Mexico. Sorghum export shipments were 49% below the prior week’s totals and 15% lower than the prior four-week average.

Cotton export sales reached 402,400 bales, which was a 33% improvement from the prior week and 75% ahead of the prior four-week average.

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