Weekly Export Sales: Soybeans slump, corn and wheat march ahead

Grain sales were a typical mixed bag for the week ending July 26.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

August 2, 2018

3 Min Read
Bow view of fully loaded cargo ship.Stewart Sutton/ThinkstockPhotos

Most USDA export reports offer a mix of bullish and bearish data, and the week ending July 26 was par for the course. Last week, corn and wheat sales notched another round of better-than-expected export sales. Soybean sales, on the other hand, turned in about half of the prior week’s total and fell moderately below trade expectations.


Soybean old crop sales are beginning to fade as the 2017/18 marketing year wraps up, finding only 3.4 million bushels last week. With another 20.0 million bushels in new crop sales, that brought total sales to 23.4 million bushels. Analyst estimates of 30.3 were too high, and the prior week’s total of 55.2 million bushels more than doubled the latest effort. 




Soybean export shipments of 40.9 million bushels constituted better news, as the weekly rate needed to reach USDA forecasts remains a manageable 32.2 million bushels. For the 2017/18 marketing year, China remains the top destination for U.S. soybean destinations, accounting for 48% of all commitments. Other top destinations include the European Union (8%), Mexico (8%) and unknown destinations (5%). 

Corn export sales tallied 11.5 million bushels in old crop sales and another 38.8 million bushels in new crop sales for a total of 50.3 million bushels. That was moderately higher than the prior week’s total of 42.8 million bushels and trade estimates of 41.3 million bushels. As the 2017/18 marketing year draws to a close, only 12.5 million bushels are needed weekly to match USDA forecasts.



Corn export shipments of 42.5 million bushels were 27% higher than the prior week and 18% above the four-week average. Japan was the No. 1 destination, with 16.0 million bushels. For the 2017/18 marketing year, however, Mexico remains the No. 1 destination for U.S. corn export commitments, with 25% of the total. Japan comes in at No. 2, with 19%, followed by South Korea (10%), Colombia (8%) and Peru (5%).

Wheat export sales notched another 14.1 million bushels, inching just below the prior week’s tally of 14.2 million bushels but exceeding trade expectations of 11.9 million bushels. The weekly rate needed to reach USDA forecasts is at 16.1 million bushels in the young 2018/19 marketing year, which began July 1. 

Wheat export shipments of 13.9 million bushels were 6% below the prior week but still 2% ahead of the four-week average. The Philippines was the No. 1 destination, with 4.5 million bushels. So far in the 2018/19 marketing year, unknown destinations tops the list for U.S. wheat exports, accounting for 15% of all commitments, followed by the Philippines (14%), Japan (12%), South Korea (9%) and Mexico (9%).





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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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