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Export Sales: Corn climbs, soybeans stumble

RGtimeline/iStock/Getty Images Truck unloading grain
Wheat takes a moderate lead over its prior four-week average.

The latest batch of USDA export sales data, out Thursday morning and covering the week through March 11, had another mixed bag of numbers for traders to digest. Corn sales had the best performance last week, with sales moving noticeably higher week-over-week and shipments climbing to a new marketing-year best. Wheat sales were also higher week-over-week, while soybeans faded 31% below the prior four-week average.

Corn exports found 38.8 million bushels in old crop sales plus another 9.5 million bushels in new crop sales, for a total tally of 48.3 million bushels. That was above the entire range of trade guesses that fell between 13.8 million and 45.3 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year widened its already impressive lead over last year’s pace, with 1.180 billion bushels.

Corn export shipments saw a new marketing year high after climbing 42% above the prior four-week average to reach 86.6 million bushels. Japan led all destinations, with 17.1 million bushels. Mexico, China, Colombia and Taiwan rounded out the top five.

Sorghum export sales posted another 10.5 million bushels last week, with China accounting for 100% of the total. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year are still tripling last year’s pace, with 135.7 million bushels. Export shipments found a new marketing-year high, with 13.9 million bushels.

Old crop soybean sales spilled 42% lower week-over-week to 7.4 million bushels, with no additional new crop sales to report. Total sales fell to the lower end of trade estimates, which ranged between 3.7 million and 29.4 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year are still impressive, with 1.979 billion bushels. That’s more than 850 million bushels ahead of last year’s pace so far.

Soybean export shipments also slumped 44% below the prior four-week average, to 19.6 million bushels. Indonesia was the No. 1 destination, with 4.7 million bushels. Egypt, China, Mexico and Bangladesh filled out the top five.

Old crop wheat sales improved 18% week-over-week and 40% above the prior four-week average to 14.3 million bushels. New crop sales chipped in another 5.1 million bushels for a total of 19.4 million bushels, making it to the upper end of trade estimates that ranged between 5.5 million and 22.0 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year remain slightly behind last year’s pace, with 689.3 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments jumped 61% above the prior four-week average to 24.3 million bushels. The Philippines topped all destinations, with 6.5 million bushels. South Korea, Mexico, China and Bangladesh rounded out the top five.

Click here for more highlights and insights from the latest USDA export report, which covers March 5 through March 11.

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