Weekly Grain Movement – Only one crop’s keeping up

USDA forecast falls short for two of the three major grain crops.

The 2017/18 marketing year is in full swing, but sales have started sluggish – at least for corn and wheat weekly export inspections, which have fallen behind the pace needed to meet USDA’s forecasts. Soybeans have fared somewhat stronger, meantime.

Corn export inspections totaled 23 million bushels for the week ending Jan. 11. That was below the average trade guess, which ranged between 27 million and 39 million bushels, and it was well below the pace needed to match USDA’s forecast, now at 42.7 million bushels. Marketing year-to-date totals have reached 473 million bushels, which is 36% behind the pace of 2016/17.

Mexico was the No. 1 destination for corn export inspections last week, at 8.5 million bushels. Japan trailed closely behind, at 8.1 million bushels, with other top destinations that included Columbia (3.9 million bushels) and Panama (1.0 million bushels).

Soybean export inspections reached 45.2 million bushels – on the high end of the trade range of 36 million to 46 million bushels. That total was also slightly higher than a week ago (44.6 million bushels), but could not reach the total from this week a year ago (52.3 million bushels). Total volume continues to stay well ahead of the rate needed to reach USDA’s weekly forecast, now at 32.1 million bushels, although year-to-date totals for 2017/18 (1.133 billion bushels) are 14% behind the pace of 2016/17. 

As it often is, China was the No. 1 destination for export inspections, accounting for more than half of the total volume with 27.1 million bushels. Other top destinations included Mexico (3.7 million bushels), Indonesia (3.1 million bushels), Spain (2.6 million bushels) South Korea (2.1 million bushels) and Egypt (2.1 million bushels).

Wheat export inspections were also on the high end of the trade guess range (7 to 14 million bushels), with 13.5 million bushels. That’s better than last week’s tally of 8.6 million bushels, but behind the total this week a year ago, with 14.2 million bushels. The weekly pace needed to meet USDA’s forecast is now 20.9 million bushels. The year-to-date total for 2017/18 has reached 556 million bushels, which is 6.5% behind the pace set in 2016/17. 

Top destinations for wheat export inspections last week came from diverse geographies, including the Philippines (4.0 million bushels), Mexico (2.5 million bushels), Japan (2.2 million bushels), South Korea (2.0 million bushels), Nigeria (1.1 million bushels) and others.

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