WEEKLY EXPORT REPORT: Corn, soybean, wheat business declines

China takes most of the soybean sales, while Japan tops corn sales.

Corn, soybean and wheat export sales figures released on Thursday were down for the week, with the decline in corn larger than expected, while the soybean and wheat numbers were within trade forecasts.

China was the majority buyer of sorghum, soybeans and soybean oil, while usual buyers Japan, South Korea and Mexico led the corn business, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s weekly export report.

In the report, corn sales of 30 million bu. were down 55% from a week ago but largely matched the weekly pace needed to meet USDA’s annual forecasts.

Soybean sales of 51.4 million bu. were led by China, with the Netherlands, Mexico and others taking the rest. The weekly sales easily topped the pace needed to meet USDA’s annual projection due to big sales earlier in the season. A small sale of 2.4 million bu. of 2017-18 soybeans went to unknown destinations.

Wheat sales of 17.8 million bu. topped the weekly pace needed to meet USDA’s forecast and were led by Indonesia, Mexico and South Korea. There was a small sale of 300,000 bu. of 2017-18 wheat to Mexico.

Chicago, Ill., corn and soybean markets weakened after the export report in the closing minutes of the overnight session. Corn futures were around a penny higher before the report but closed about unchanged, while soybeans went from about 5 cents higher to 2 cents/bu. lower in nearby months. December wheat futures closed 0.75 cent/bu. lower for soft red winter wheat, up 0.75 cent/bu. for hard red winter wheat and up 4.25 cents/bu. for March spring wheat.

Soybean meal export sales of 150.400 metric tons were at the low end of trade forecasts and down 33% from the prior week. Mexico, Honduras and Nicaragua were the leading buyers.

Soybean oil sales of 54,500 mt were a marketing year high. The business was led by China’s purchase of 30,000 mt, which was reported last week via USDA’s daily reporting system. Also buying were Korea, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Colombia.

Net sorghum sales of 8.94 million bu. were down 22% from a week ago. The top markets were China and unknown destinations.

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