Weekly Grain Movement – Soybeans soar, corn disappoints

Wheat sees week-over-week gains in USDA’s latest report.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

October 26, 2020

2 Min Read
Soybean splash isolated on black background
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The latest grain export inspection report from USDA, out Monday morning and covering the week through October 22, once again showed a strong soybean tally as year-to-date volume for the 2020/21 marketing year continues to dominate last year’s pace. Wheat also notched a moderate weekly improvement, but corn slumped 30% below the prior week’s total. (NOTE: Reuters did not release its typical range of trade estimates this week.)

Soybean export inspections firmed another 15% from a week ago to reach 97.9 million bushels. That was also significantly above the same week a year ago, when export inspections topped 58.0 million bushels. In fact, cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year are now nearly 78% ahead of last year’s pace, with 526.9 million bushels since September 1.

A resurgence in exports to China is largely driving this huge year-over-year increase. Last week, the country’s export inspections accounted for another 74.3 million bushels, which was 76% of the total volume. Of the remainder, the Netherlands, Mexico, Thailand and South Korea were the top destinations.

Wheat export inspections also firmed week-over-week, improving 51% to reach 13.4 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year are holding onto a modest lead over last year’s pace, with 405.8 million bushels since June 1.

Japan led all destinations for U.S. wheat export inspections last week, with 3.9 million bushels. Taiwan, El Salvador, Guatemala and Ethiopia rounded out the top five.

Sorghum export inspections eased slightly week-over-week, coming in at 2.6 million bushels. Cumulative totals over the 2020/21 marketing year have a healthy lead over last year’s pace so far, with 21.0 million bushels. Last week, China accounted for 87% of the total, with Cameroon accounting for most of the remainder (Mexico also chipped in 1,900 bushels).

Corn export inspections saw a week-over-week decline of nearly one-third, sliding to 25.0 million bushels. But the 2020/21 marketing year overall remains off to a much better start than last year, trending 75% above last year’s pace to 239.9 million bushels since September 1.

Mexico accounted for a third of all U.S. corn export inspections last week, with 8.4 million bushels. China, Japan, Guatemala and Colombia filled out the top five.

Click here to walk through additional data from USDA’s latest grain export inspection report.

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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