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May 20, 2021
The latest round of grain export data from USDA, out Thursday morning and covering the week through May 13, held mixed but mostly positive data for traders to digest. New crop corn sales came in very strong, as expected, and wheat also posted healthy totals this past week. Soybean sales were muted, but that was also largely expected, given how low domestic stocks are at this point.
Old crop corn sales only reached 10.9 million bushels last week, but new crop sales soared to 159.9 million bushels on the back of some very large recent sales to China. That made for a total tally of 170.8 million bushels. That was on the upper end of analyst estimates, which ranged between 106.3 million and 192.9 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year widened its lead over last year’s pace, with 1.862 billion bushels.
Corn export shipments carved out a new marketing-year high, with 88.2 million bushels – besting the prior four-week average by 23%. China was by far the No. 1 destination, with 39.8 million bushels. Mexico, Japan, Colombia and Israel rounded out the top five.
Sorghum export sales saw another 6.8 million bushels in old and new crop sales last week, all purchased by China. And export shipments of 2.4 million bushels are also 100% bound for China. Cumulative sales for the 2020/21 marketing year have reached 227.1 million bushels, which is still more than doubling last year’s pace.
Soybean exports found old crop sales dropping 11% week-over-week to 3.1 million bushels. New crop sales added another 3.5 million bushels for a total tally of 6.6 million bushels. That was near the middle of trade guesses, which were as high as 14.7 million bushels. Cumulative sales for the 2020/21 marketing year remain well ahead of last year’s pace, with 1.282 billion bushels.
Soybean export shipments firmed 20% above the prior four-week average to 12.3 million bushels. Mexico topped all destinations, with 3.8 million bushels. Japan, Egypt, Indonesia and South Korea filled out the top five.
Old crop wheat sales improved 21% above the prior four-week average to 4.4 million bushels. New crop exports found additional sales of 11.7 million bushels, for a total tally of 16.1 million bushels. That was on the higher end of trade guesses, which ranged between 2.8 million and 18.4 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year still have a modest lead over last year’s pace, with 866.2 million bushels.
Wheat export shipments inched 3% ahead of the prior four-week average to 20.9 million bushels. The Philippines led all destinations, with 4.1 million bushels. Nigeria, China, South Korea and Japan rounded out the top five.
Click here for more highlights and insights from the latest USDA report, which covers May 7 through May 13.
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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