Weekly Export Sales: Soybeans take a nosedive

Export sales come in at less than half of trade estimates.

USDA’s weekly export sales report, out Thursday morning, revealed some disappointing results for soybean crop sales, which posted a marketing year low for 2017/18. Wheat export sales also dipped below trade expectations, with corn exports coming up big for the week ending January 25.

Soybeans found 13.2 million bushels in old crop sales, plus another 1.9 million bushels in new crop sales, for a total of 15.1 million bushels in export sales last week. That was well below trade expectations of 33.1 million bushels, although it remains above the weekly pace needed to reach USDA’s forecasts, now at 18.0 million bushels. Futures prices sank nearly 1% after the latest data was released. 

Soybean export shipments were much larger, at 44.8 million bushels, but it was still 2% lower than the prior week as well as the rolling four-week average. China was the No. 1 destination, with 25.5 million bushels, followed by Japan (3.3 million bushels), the Netherlands (2.8 million bushels), South Korea (2.1 million bushels) and Turkey (1.9 million bushels).

Corn export sales, on the other hand, landed well above trade estimates of 53.2 million bushels, with 72.9 million bushels in old crop sales and another 1.2 million bushels in new crop sales. That total also far exceeded the prior week’s volume of 23.6 million bushels, as well as the weekly rate needed to reach USDA’s forecast, now at 21.1 million bushels. 

Corn export shipments reached 41.2 million bushels for the week ending January 25 – 75% higher than the prior week and 51% above the rolling four-week average. Japan was the No. 1 destination, with 13.1 million bushels, followed by Colombia (7.9 million bushels), Mexico (7.3 million bushels), South Korea (2.5 million bushels) and Morocco (2.4 million bushels).

Wheat export sales could not match trade estimates of 16.5 million bushels, coming in at 10.6 million bushels. That’s also lower than the prior week’s total of 13.9 million bushels, as well as the weekly pace needed to meet USDA estimates, now at 12.9 million bushels. Total sales also came in 48% below the prior four-week average.

Wheat export shipments were 37% higher than the week prior and 57% above the rolling four-week average, however, at 19.0 million bushels. Last week’s top destination was Japan, with 3.7 million bushels, followed by the Philippines (2.9 million bushels), Indonesia (2.7 million bushels), Mexico (1.7 million bushels) and Guatemala (1.3 million bushels). 

Sorghum export sales of 9.5 million bushels trended 46% higher than the week prior and were 65% ahead of the rolling four-week average. China accounted for more than 95% of the total, with Japan picking up the remainder.

Cotton export sales of 303,300 bales bested the prior four-week average by 50%.

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