Weekly Grain Movement – Volume stays ahead of expectations

Corn, soybeans and wheat all match or exceed average trade guesses.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

March 12, 2018

7 Slides

As it typically does, the latest weekly export inspection data from USDA brings a mixed bag of results. However, the data for the week ending March 8 was mostly positive for corn, soybean and wheat. 

Corn export inspections reached 54.2 million bushels, which bested the average trade guess of 35 million to 47 million bushels, and was well above the prior week’s tally of 38.6 million bushels. It also stayed above the weekly rate needed to meet USDA forecasts, now at 48.1 million bushels.

Totals fell behind results from a year ago, clocking in at 61.6 million bushels, however. And the cumulative year-to-date totals of 800 million bushels are still nearly 30% lower than 2016/17’s pace of 1.139 billion bushels. Japan was the No. 1 destination last week, with 14.2 million bushels. Mexico, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and Colombia were other top destinations. 

Soybean export inspections were down slightly from the prior week’s total of 37.3 million bushels, but with a total volume of 33.5 million bushels, it landed on the high end of trade estimates (ranging between 25 million and 36 million). The weekly rate needed to meet USDA forecasts was pushed lower, to 24.6 million bushels. Year-to-date totals for 2017/18 reached 1.459 billion bushels, which is about 12% behind last year’s pace.

China captured nearly half of last week’s soybean export inspections, with 16.5 million bushels. Other top destinations included Egypt (5.1 million bushels), Indonesia (3.4 million bushels), Japan (2.9 million bushels) and Mexico (2.5 million bushels).

Wheat export inspections also landed on the high end of the average trade guess (9 million to 16 million bushels), with 14.3 million bushels. That represented a slight decline from the prior week’s total of 14.7 million bushels, and was moderately behind year-over-year results of 20.2 million bushels. The weekly rate needed to meet USDA forecasts is up to 22.1 million bushels at this point, with cumulative year-to-date totals of 685 million bushels in 2017/18 about 7% below the pace set by 2016/17.

Japan or Mexico has occupied the No. 1 destination for wheat for numerous consecutive weeks, but last week saw the Philippines occupy the top spot, with 3.6 million bushels. Other top destinations included China, Algeria, Morocco, Yemen and South Korea.

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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