Crystal ball was crystal clear for corn, soybeans and wheat last week.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

June 1, 2018

3 Min Read
wlfella/iStock/GettyImages

Predicting the weekly export sales numbers can be a bit tricky, but trade analysts were nearly spot-on guessing last week’s numbers for corn, soybean and wheat exports.

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Soybean exports rebounded from the prior week’s net deficit of 4.9 million bushels (due to large cancellations outpacing new sales), with 10.0 million bushels in old crop sales and another 28.4 million bushels in new crop sales for total sales of 38.4 million bushels. That total slightly bested trade estimates of 36.8 million bushels, and the weekly rate needed to reach USDA forecasts shrunk to 1.9 million bushels. Soybean export shipments reached 23.8 million bushels last week.

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So far for the 2017/18 marketing year, China continues to be the runaway top destination for U.S. soybean export commitments, accounting for 52% of the total. Other significant destinations include Mexico (accounting for 8% of all commitments), unknown destinations (7%), European Union (6%), Indonesia (4%) and Japan (4%).

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Corn exports saw 39.1 million bushels in old crop sales for the week ending May 24, with an additional 5.9 million bushels in new crop sales for a total of 45.0 million bushels. That was slightly ahead of the prior week’s total of 44.4 million bushels and trade estimates of 43.3 million bushels. The weekly rate needed to reach USDA forecasts retreated to 5.8 million bushels. Corn export shipments reached 74.6 million bushels.

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For the 2017/18 marketing year, NAFTA partner Mexico has been the No. 1 destination for corn export commitments, accounting for 25% of the total. Other top destinations include Japan (accounting for 19% of all commitments), South Korea (8%), unknown destinations (8%) and Colombia (8%).

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Wheat exports found 1.1 million bushels in old crop sales and another 10.0 million bushels in new crop sales for total sales of 11.1 million bushels – nearly hitting the trade estimate bullseye of 11.0 million bushels. It did not match the prior week’s total of 16.6 million bushels. The weekly rate needed to reach USDA forecasts grew again, reaching an increasingly unmanageable 32.6 million bushels. Export shipments landed at 16.4 million bushels.

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As with soybeans, Mexico has been the No. 1 destination for wheat export commitments during the 2017/18 marketing year, accounting for 12% of the total – sharing the lead with Japan, which also has accounted for 12%. Other top destinations include the Philippines (11%), South Korea (7%), Nigeria (5%), Indonesia (5%) and Taiwan (5%).

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Sorghum net sales reached a marketing year low, with reductions from China and unknown destinations totaling 11.6 million bushels. Export shipments of 3.1 million bushels were up noticeably from the prior week, however.

Cotton exports of 16,700 bales also reached a marketing year low, dropping 67% below the prior week and 89% below the four-week average.

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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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