Weekly Grain Movement – Signs of life for soybeans

Export inspections best trade expectations, with corn coming on strong, too.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

May 21, 2018

2 Min Read
AG SHIPPERS SPEAK OUT: During House subcommittee hearing June 15, ag industry members discuss lasting negative impact as ocean carriers to decline to carry U.S. agriculture commodity exports.3dmentat/ThinkstockPhotos

For the week ending May 17, soybeans appeared to be on the comeback trail, rebounding with moderately higher export inspections than the prior week and beating industry forecasts. Corn posted another round of solid results, meantime, with wheat export inspections failing to impress.


Last week’s soybean export inspections reached 32.8 million bushels, which was well ahead of trade expectations (14 to 25 million bushels), the prior week’s results (25.7 million bushels) and this week a year ago (12.1 million bushels). The weekly rate needed to reach USDA forecasts still edged higher, however, to 36.0 million bushels. Marketing year-to-date totals are now at 1.677 billion bushels, versus 1.855 billion bushels last year.


China was the No. 1 destination for soybean export inspections last week, but only accounted for less than 15% of the total, with 4.9 million bushels. (Pre trade “spat,” it routinely accounted for more than half of soybean inspections for any given week.) Other top destinations included Mexico (4.6 million bushels), Bangladesh (4.2 million bushels), Indonesia (2.9 million bushels) and Vietnam (2.7 million bushels). 


Corn export inspections reached 60.2 million bushels last week, down slightly from the prior week’s performance of 62.1 million bushels but moderately ahead of the same week a year ago (46.4 million bushels). The average trade guess ranged from 55 million to 66 million bushels. 


The weekly rate needed to meet USDA forecasts was trimmed to 39.5 million bushels. Marketing year-to-date totals are now at 1.429 billion bushels, versus 1.652 billion bushels a year ago. 


Mexico was the No. 1 destination of corn export inspections last week, with 13.3 million bushels. South Korea (11.1 million bushels), Japan (10.2 million bushels), Egypt (4.6 million bushels) and Colombia (3.4 million bushels) were among the other top destinations.


Wheat export inspections were just 12.5 million bushels last week – on the low end of the average trade guess, which ranged from 11 million to 22 million bushels. It was also down from the prior week’s tally of 17.2 million bushels and totals of 25.2 million bushels a year ago.


The weekly rate for wheat export inspections needed to meet USDA forecasts moved higher again, to 25.9 million bushels. The marketing year-to-date totals for 2017/18 have reached 847 million bushels, down almost 13% from last year’s pace of 972 million bushels.

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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