Weekly Export Sales: Slower than expected

Corn and soybean volumes slump, wheat hits the mark.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

November 16, 2017

20 Slides

Early morning grain markets shook off sluggish weekly export sales numbers, with corn, soybeans and wheat all trading for small gains in morning trading. Even so, corn and soybean weekly export sales failed to meet trade estimates, with wheat volume coming in a little bit better than anticipated.

Corn export sales for the week ending Nov. 9 cooled considerably from the week prior – although to be fair, that was a 2017/18 marketing year best, with 93.1 million bushels in total sales. This past week, corn notched 37.6 million bushels in total sales, which was significantly below trade estimates of 61.0 million bushels. That still keeps volume ahead of the weekly rate needed to meet USDA’s forecast, now set at 26.8 million bushels.

Corn export shipments, at 16.4 million bushels, were down 15% from the week prior and 18% lower than the four-week average. Primary destinations included Mexico (10.6 million bushels), Peru (1.8 million bushels), Costa Rica (1.2 million bushels), Taiwan (1.1 million bushels) and Guatemala (956,000 bushels).

Soybean export sales also came in below trade estimates (which were 48.7 million bushels), at 43.3 million bushels in old crop and new crop sales. That volume was slightly ahead of the prior week’s total of 42.7 million bushels, however. The weekly pace needed to reach USDA’s forecast is now adjusted to 25.1 million bushels.

Export shipments for soybeans for the week ending Nov. 9 were much more robust, at 92.9 million bushels. That puts volume 11% higher than the week prior and 5% ahead of the four-week average. Top destinations included China (54.4 million bushels), the Netherlands (6.0 million bushels), Turkey (4.8 million bushels), Mexico (3.4 million bushels) and Spain (3.3 million bushels). 

Wheat export sales beat trade estimates of 16.5 million bushels, coming in at 18.0 million bushels. That was not good enough to match last week’s volume of 28.7 million bushels, which was the 2017/18 marketing year high. Last week’s numbers keep wheat sales ahead of the rate needed to reach USDA’s forecast, now set at 13.6 million bushels.

Export shipments for wheat totaled 11.0 million bushels. That’s about the same as the week prior but 7% higher than the four-week average. Top destinations include Mexico (3.4 million bushels), Indonesia (2.7 million bushels), Japan (1.3 million bushels), Trinidad (1.0 million bushels) and Taiwan (826,000 bushels).

Sorghum export sales totaled 5.1 million bushels, as increases for China were partially offset from reductions for unknown destinations. Export shipments were slightly higher, at 5.2 million bushels, with the bulk headed to China (5.1 million bushels) with the remainder for Mexico.

Cotton export sales hit a 2017/18 marketing year high, with 506,700 bales. Export shipments, however, were 24% lower than the week prior and 4% lower than 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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