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WEEKLY GRAIN MOVEMENT: Fighting for ‘average’

Wheat inspections much lower than last year.

By Ben Potter

Weekly grain export inspections for the week ending Aug. 31 rolled right along, matching average trade guesses for corn and soybeans but falling sharply short for wheat. A longer view shows the 2016-17 corn and soybean crops staying just ahead of the five-year averages and wheat dipping below the five-year average.

U.S. Department of Agriculture corn export inspections hit 31.4 million bu., down slightly from last week but within the range of trade estimates, which were from 25.6 million to 33.5 million bu. Last week’s export inspections totaled 31.7 million bu. The top three destinations for the week ending Aug. 31 were Mexico (10.7 million bu.), Japan (9.3 million bu.) and Colombia (3.11 million bu.).

Corn inspections exceed USDA’s forecast for the 2016 marketing year (which ended Aug. 31). Census exports are running ahead of inspections, which could cause USDA to raise sales estimates next week.

With 23.7 million bu., USDA soybean export inspections stayed in range of trade estimates of 21.1-25.7 million bu. Last week’s export inspections totaled 26.3 million bu. Top destinations for the week ending Aug. 31 included China (14.1 million bu.), Japan (3.5 million bu.) and Mexico (2.4 million bu.).

Weekly soybean inspections for 2016-17 are down from last year but still are above the five-year average. Total soybean inspections haven’t matched USDA’s forecast for the 2016 crop. However, census totals are ahead of inspections, which could mean USDA’s current forecast is too low.

USDA wheat export inspections only hit 9.3 million bu., down big from last year and well short of trade estimates that ranged from 18.4 million to 22 million bu. Last week’s export inspections totaled 24.6 million bu. The top destinations were scattered across Asia, including exports to Japan (2.39 million bu.), Thailand (1.95 million bu.), Taiwan (1.56 million bu.) and South Korea (1.23 million bu.).

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