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Weekly Export Sales – Corn stays strong, wheat disappoints

Soybean volume holds steady from a week ago.

USDA’s latest export sales report, covering the week ending May 7, had a mixed bag of data, as it often does. Corn sales continued to dominate overall grain exports, moving 39% higher from a week ago. Wheat sales were anemic, sliding 28% below the prior four-week average. And soybean sales were mostly steady, with China reemerging as the No. 1 buyer.

Corn export sales were up 39% from a week ago and stayed 14% above the prior four-week average after notching 42.3 million bushels in old crop sales and 21.8 million bushels in new crop sales for a total tally of 64.1 million bushels. Sales were in the middle of trade guesses, which ranged between 43.3 million and 82.7 million bushels. China was the top buyer, snapping up 27 million bushels last week. Cumulative sales for the 2019/20 marketing year have finally cleared 1 billion bushels but remain significantly behind the prior year’s pace of 1.457 billion bushels.

Corn export shipments slipped 6% lower week-over-week but stayed 16% above the prior four-week average, with 51.6 million bushels. Mexico (15.2 million) and Japan (12.0 million) were the top two destinations, followed by Costa Rica, South Korea and Tunisia.

Sorghum export sales fell to a marketing-year low, with 602,000 bushels. However, cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are still more than double last year’s pace, at 83.7 million bushels.

Soybean export sales held mostly steady from a week ago, with 24.1 million bushels in old crop sales plus another 16.2 million bushels in new crop sales. Analysts were expecting total sales to land between 25.7 million and 55.1 million bushels. China accounted for around half of the total, with 23.8 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are still slightly ahead of last year’s pace, with 1.274 billion bushels.

Soybean export shipments were less robust, at 17.4 million bushels. That tally trended 8% higher than a week ago but 8% below the prior four-week average. China was the No. 1 destination, with 2.7 million bushels. The Netherlands, Indonesia, Egypt and Italy rounded out the top five.

Wheat export sales were lukewarm, spilling 17% from a week ago and 28% below the prior four-week average, with 7.5 million bushels in old crop sales plus another 5.5 million bushels in new crop sales. Analysts were expecting total sales to land between 9.2 million and 22.0 million bushels. The Philippines returned as the top buyer, with 2.3 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are maintaining a modest year-over-year lead, with 837.6 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments were also lackluster, with 13.5 million bushels. That total was 38% down from both a week ago and the prior four-week average. 

Click here to see all of last week’s export sales data from USDA.

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