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WEEKLY EXPORT REPORT: Corn sales fall to market-year low

Soybean sales improve, while wheat slumps during holiday week.

Old-crop corn export sales tumbled 64% to a market-year low of 10.9 million bu. in the latest week, and new-crop business was even worse -- with a net reduction of 2.17 million bu. -- as cancellations by Japan more than offset new sales, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Thursday.

Soybeans had a better week, with old-crop sales up 20% from a week ago at 14 million bu.,  and new-crop sales of 2.6 million bu. were more than four times larger. The sales for both years matched trade forecasts. Unknown destinations, Japan and Bangladesh led old-crop buyers, while China and Japan bought the new crop.

Wheat sales also were down, with a net reduction in old-crop business.

The declines in corn and wheat sales last week may be due to May Day holidays in a number of countries then, said Bryce Knorr, Farm Futures senior grain analyst.

“South Korea didn’t show up on the tally sheet. Normally, the feed mills there buy right before and right after major USDA reports,” Knorr said of the corn. “They bought a little early this time around, so the sales came through the last week of April."

Old-crop wheat had a net reduction of about  890,000 bu. as cancellations outnumbered new sales, but the focus is on the new crop year, which starts in three weeks. New-crop sales of 10 million bu. were about half of the previous week’s, with China, Mexico and unknown destinations as the leading buyers.

In corn, the old-crop sales were led by Mexico, Japan and Venezuela, with cancellations led by unknown destinations, Guatemala, South Korea and El Salvador.  In the new crop, Nicaragua was the buyer, while Japan cancelled a large amount.

In Chicago, Ill., corn futures dropped about a penny after the export report to close the overnight session 2 cents lower in July and 2.25 cents lower in September. Soybeans trimmed gains after the report, with July closing up ¾ cent and August up 1 cent.

Chicago Board of Trade May soft red winter wheat futures moved a fraction lower after being a fraction higher, with July and September both ½ cent lower at the close. Kansas City, Mo., July hard red winter wheat dropped about a penny to close 1 cent lower and September 1.25 cents  lower.

Soybean meal export sales of 137,100 metric tons were up 32% from the previous week and matched trade forecasts. The Philippines, Colombia and Panama led buyers. New-crop business of 24,700 metric tons went to Mexico.

Soybean oil sales of 29,000 metric tons were more than double the prior week, with unknown destinations, Jamaica and France the leading buyers.

Sorghum sales of nearly 79,000 million bu. were down sharply from a week ago and were led by China and Japan.

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