Weekly Export Sales: Trade estimates nearly score a bullseye

Which crop narrowly missed the mark on export estimates?

Weekly export sales came in ahead of expectations for the week ending October 19 – with one minor exception. Although corn and soybean sales landed well ahead of trade estimates, wheat sales pulled up a tiny bit short. 

Corn export volume finished the week with 50.7 million bushels in old crop sales and 3.8 million bushels in new crop sales, for 54.5 million bushels in total sales, versus trade estimates of 39.4 million bushels. Volume is down from a week ago, when 62.7 million bushels in export sales were posted. 

Export shipment totals for corn nearly doubled from the week prior, with 23.8 million bushels. Exports primarily headed to Mexico, Peru, Japan, Colombia and Costa Rica. 

For soybeans, export sales topped 78.3 million bushels, good enough to best last week’s totals of 64.2 million bushels and trade estimates of 51.5 million bushels. That keeps the rate to reach USDA’s forecast at a reasonable 26.8 million bushels per week.

Export shipments in soybeans totaled 92.7 million bushels last week. The bulk of these shipments headed to China (63.9 million bushels), with other top destinations including Spain, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam.

Trade estimates for wheat export sales nearly hit the bullseye, with a guess of 14.7 million bushels and actual total sales of 14.4 million bushels. That easily bested slumping sales from the week prior (6.5 million bushels), and keeps the pace steady for the rate needed to reach USDA’s forecast, at 13.4 million bushels per week.

Export shipments dragged at 4.5 million bushels for the week, down 62% from a week ago and 73% lower than the four-week average. Top destinations included the Philippines, Panama, Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico.

Soymeal export sales were roughly half the volume from a week ago, at 5.2 million bushels. Top destinations were Mexico, the Philippines, Costa Rica and Canada. Export shipments totaling 4.9 million bushels headed primarily to the Philippines, Colombia, Canada, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. 

Sorghum net sales totaled just 133,852 bushels, after increases of 2.7 million bushels for China were mostly offset by 2.6 million bushels in reductions from unknown destinations. Export shipments of 2.8 million bushels were reported to China and Mexico. 

Cotton export sales hit a marketing-year high for 2017/18, with 289,100 bales, 14% higher than a week ago and 52% above the four-week average.

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