Weekly Grain Movement – Soybean volume is big, but…

Grain exports are having trouble keeping pace with 2016.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

November 6, 2017

7 Slides

It was another big week of soybean export inspections, but corn and soybeans struggled to keep up with the average trade guess, and all three crops lag behind 2016’s year-to-date totals. 

Soybeans continue to perform as expected, with export inspections totaling 91.5 million bushels for the week ending November 2. That was slightly below last week’s total of 92.9 million bushels, but in line with the average trade guess, which ranged between 84 million bushels and 102 million bushels. The weekly drop from 2016 was insubstantial, but for the 2017/18 marketing year so far (which began September 1), export inspections are about 10% lower than this time a year ago.

For the week, China ended up with nearly three-fourths of the total volume, at 68.1 million bushels. Other top destinations included Mexico (5.2 million bushels), the Netherlands (3.1 million bushels), Saudi Arabia (2.6 million bushels), Egypt (2.4 million bushels) and South Korea (2.2 million bushels). 

Weekly export inspections for corn totaled 17.5 million bushels, down from a week ago (21.6 million bushels), and below the average trade estimate of 19 million to 27 million bushels. Now, the rate needed meet USDA’s forecast sits at 37.1 million bushels per week. Total export inspections for the 2017/18 marketing year, which began September 1, are still nearly half the volume of this time a year ago (218 million bushels vs. 401 million bushels).

The usual top destination for corn, Mexico (5.2 million bushels), was usurped by Colombia (5.4 million bushels). Other top destinations included Japan (2.7 million bushels), Honduras (1.5 million bushels), and Peru (1.4 million bushels). 

Weekly export inspections for wheat landed on the low end of trade estimates, at 10.4 million bushels. The average trade guess ranged between 9 million and 16 million bushels. That keeps wheat below the rate needed to meet USDA’s forecast, which is now 18.5 million bushels per week. It also keeps the 2017/18 marketing year (which began June 1) slightly behind the pace of 2016/17, with 420 million bushels vs. 447 million bushels total.

Top destinations for wheat for the week ending November 2 included Japan (2.2 million bushels), Guatemala (1.8 million bushels), South Korea (1.2 million bushels), Nigeria (1.2 million bushels), Taiwan (1.1 million bushels), Mexico (1.1 million bushels) and the Philippines (900,000 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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