Weekly Grain Movement – Crop exports cool down

Corn, soybean and wheat export inspections produce mostly lackluster results.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

March 26, 2018

7 Slides

Export inspections for the week ending March 22 were mostly in line with trade estimates. The only problem with that was trade guesses weren’t especially lofty for the week. Grain prices were mixed following the latest export data from USDA. 

Corn export inspections totaled 45.4 million bushels, which was slightly under the average trade guess of 49 million to 59 million bushels. It was also moderately lower than the prior week’s total of 56.7 million bushels, as well as the weekly rate needed to meet USDA forecasts, now at 55.1 million bushels. Year-to-date marketing year totals for 2017/18 have reached 902 million bushels, down 28% from the pace of 2016/17.

More encouragingly, U.S. corn continues to export to a broad range of countries worldwide. Ten countries tallied at least 1 million bushels in export inspections last week, with South Korea leading the way at 10.0 million bushels. Other top destinations included Mexico (8.2 million bushels), Japan (6.3 million bushels), Vietnam (5.4 million bushels) and Colombia (3.5 million bushels).

Soybean export inspections were on the high end of trade expectations last week, which ranged from 16 million to 23 million bushels. However, the week’s total of 21.5 million bushels was lower than the weekly rate needed to meet USDA forecasts, now at 23.5 million bushels, and marketing year totals of 1.5 billion bushels lag about 12% below the pace set in 2016/17. 

China was again the No. 1 destination for U.S. soybean export inspections last week, but accounted for less than 25% of the total volume, with 4.9 million bushels. Mexico (3.7 million bushels), Indonesia (3.5 million bushels), Pakistan (2.1 million bushels) and the Netherlands (2.1 million bushels) rounded out the week’s top 5 destinations.

Wheat export inspections landed on the low end of the average trade guess of 9 million to 18 million bushels, with 10.2 million bushels. Totals lagged behind volume from the prior week, at 17.5 million bushels, and were well below the weekly rate needed to meet USDA forecasts, now at 21.1 million bushels. Marketing year-to-date totals remain slightly behind the pace of 2016/17, with 715 million bushels vs. 781 million bushels a year ago. 

Seven countries had U.S. wheat export inspections totaling at least 1 million bushels. Japan led the way with 2.2 million bushels, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Algeria, Nigeria, Venezuela and Taiwan.

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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