Weekly Export Sales: Grains struggle to keep pace

Corn, soybeans and wheat all fall below trade expectations.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

November 30, 2017

21 Slides

Corn, soybean and wheat export sales failed to feast around the Thanksgiving holiday. All three crops posted lackluster results for the week ending Nov. 23. 

Corn export sales totaled 23.6 million bushels. That’s sharply lower than 42.6 million bushels from the week prior and 54% lower than the four-week average. Trade estimates had come in at 37.4 million bushels. The weekly rate needed to reach USDA’s forecast is now 26.5 million bushels.

Corn export shipments were a little higher, at 25.6 million bushels. Mexico was the No. 1 destination for the week, with 10.6 million bushels. Other top destinations included Japan (4.5 million bushels), Peru (4.4 million bushels), Colombia (2.8 million bushels) and Costa Rica (1.1 million bushels).

With 34.7 million bushels in export sales, soybeans were able to get a small lift from the week prior (31.9 million bushels), but couldn’t quite match trade estimates of 38.6 million bushels and were 25% lower than the four-week average. Still, the weekly rate needed to reach USDA’s forecast softened to 24.7 million bushels. 

Export shipments for soybeans were much more robust, at 80.9 million bushels. China accounted for the bulk of that volume, with 63.1 million bushels. Other top destinations included the Netherlands (3.1 million bushels), Thailand (3.0 million bushels), Vietnam (2.6 million bushels) and Mexico (2.2 million bushels).

Wheat export sales were down 8% from a week ago and 59% lower than the four-week average, with 6.8 million bushels in old crop sales and 100,000 bushels in new crop sales. That’s slightly behind last week’s total of 7.9 million bushels and moderately lower than trade estimates of 12.9 million bushels. The weekly rate needed to hit USDA’s forecast has now reached 14.1 million bushels.

Export shipments for wheat totaled 12.5 million bushels – 78% higher than a week ago and 16% above the four-week average. Primary destinations included the Philippines (3.5 million bushels), Japan (2.7 million bushels), Colombia (1.6 million bushels), Vietnam (1.5 million bushels), and Nigeria (1.3 million bushels).

Sorghum export sales hit a marketing year high, with 12.9 million bushels – 2% higher than the week prior and 26% over the four-week average. The volume was split between China (10.3 million bushels) and unknown destinations (2.6 million bushels). Export shipments also hit a marketing year high, with the majority going to China and small amounts also headed to Japan and Mexico. 

Cotton posted net export sales of 276,000 bales, which was 23% lower than a week ago and 14% below the four-week average.


About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings two decades of professional agricultural communications and journalism experience to Farm Futures. He began working in the industry in the highly specific world of southern row crop production. Since that time, he has expanded his knowledge to cover a broad range of topics relevant to agriculture, including agronomy, machinery, technology, business, marketing, politics and weather. He has won several writing awards from the American Agricultural Editors Association, most recently on two features about drones and farmers who operate distilleries as a side business. Ben is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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