Export sales reveal uneven results for week ending Jan. 18

Ben Potter, Senior editor

January 26, 2018

20 Slides

Due to the federal government shutdown a week ago, USDA’s weekly export sales data comes a day late. But the latest report still carried plenty of insight, as corn and wheat exceeded trade expectations, while soybeans came up short.

Weekly export sales for corn totaled 56.9 million bushels in old crop sales and another 3.4 million bushels in new crop sales for a total of 60.3 million bushels. That was 22% below last week’s total but still 59% higher than the prior four-week average. The weekly pace needed to reach USDA’s forecast is now 22.8 million bushels.

Corn export shipments for last week were considerably lower, at 23.6 million bushels. The No. 1 destination was Mexico, with 8.0 million bushels, followed by Japan (4.4 million bushels), Colombia (3.6 million bushels), Peru (3.3 million bushels) and Costa Rica (1.8 million bushels).

Soybean export sales, meantime, fell quite short of trade estimates of 37.7 million bushels, coming in at 27.9 million bushels. Old crop sales totaled 22.6 million bushels, and new crop sales added another 5.3 million bushels. That amount was also well behind the prior week’s total of 45.6 million bushels, but it still stayed ahead of the weekly pace needed to reach USDA’s forecast, now at 17.9 million bushels. 

Soybean export shipments for the week ending Jan. 18 reached 30.7 million bushels. China was the usual No. 1 destination, accounting for 19 million bushels. Other top destinations included Thailand (6.3 million bushels), Pakistan (5.1million bushels), Indonesia (2.6 million bushels) and Spain (2.6 million bushels). 

Weekly export sales for wheat beat trade estimates of 12.9 million bushels, with a total of 15.7 million bushels in old crop sales and another 1 million bushels in new crop sales. That’s also nearly triple the prior week’s total of 5.7 million bushels, and the amount edged out the weekly pace needed to reach USDA’s forecast, now at 12.8 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments of 13.9 million bushels was 11% lower than a week ago but 4% above the prior four-week average. The Philippines were last week’s No. 1 destination, with 4.0 million bushels, followed by South Korea (2.6 million bushels), Mexico (2.5 million bushels), Iraq (1.9 million bushels) and Taiwan (1.6 million bushels).

Sorghum export sales of 6.5 million bushels were down 12% from the prior week and were 11% lower than the previous four-week average. Export shipments of 8.6 million bushels were much higher than a week ago, with the vast majority headed to China. 

Cotton export sales totaled 67,700 bales and represented a big drop from the week prior (down 75%) and the four-week average (down 70%).

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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