WEEKLY EXPORT REPORT: Big week for corn, soybean sales

Wheat sales off 34% from prior week, while corn and soybean exports surge.

Corn and soybean export sales surged in the latest week to keep year-to-date sales well above the previous year's business, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported on Thursday.

The sales also beat trade forecasts by large margins and topped the weekly paces needed to meet USDA's annual forecasts.

Weekly wheat sales were down from the previous week, missed trade forecasts in a Reuters poll and were a little less than the weekly pace needed to meet USDA's annual forecast. The sales, however, were enough to keep year-to-date business above the year-ago level.

In daily reporting on Thursday, USDA said 4.2 million bu. of 2016-17 hard red winter wheat were sold to Morocco, and nearly 9.5 million bu. of soybeans went to unknown destinations. Those sales will be added to a future weekly export report.

Corn sales totaled 81.1 million bu., more than 2.5 times the previous week's amount, and were led by Mexico, Japan and Saudi Arabia. New-crop sales of 21.3 million bu. went to Mexico.

Soybean sales of nearly 80.1 million bu. were up 29% from the prior week and were led by China, unknown destinations and Indonesia.

Wheat sales of nearly 13.9 million bu. were down 34% from the prior week and were led by the Philippines, Japan and Thailand.

The Chicago, Ill., crop futures markets had little reaction to the export numbers in the closing minutes of the overnight session. Soybean futures finished the overnight about 3 cents/bu. lower in nearby months, corn was about a penny lower and wheat futures were 1-3 cents/bu. higher.

Old-crop soybean meal export sales of 19,700 metric tons were down 9% from a week ago, with El Salvador, Canada and the Dominican Republic as the leading buyers. The crop year concluded at the end of September. New-crop soybean meal sales of 230,700 mt were up from a week ago, beat trade forecasts and were led by Mexico, Canada and the Philippines.

Sorghum sales for the 2016-17 crop year of nearly 200,000 bu. were down sharply from the prior week, with Japan and Nigeria as the key buyers.

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