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Weekly Export Sales – Grains take a big step back

Corn, soybean and wheat exports down 39% to 48% from a week ago.

Grain export sales for the week ending April 30 were disappointing, to say the least. Corn sales dropped 43% week-over-week, with wheat down 48% and soybeans down 39%. Still, a weather rally based on fears of frost potential tomorrow night kept grain prices in the green Thursday morning.

Corn exports saw 30.5 million bushels in old crop sales last week, plus another 3.8 million bushels in new crop sales, for a total tally of 34.3 million bushels, versus 66.8 million bushels a week ago. Analysts generally expected a larger haul, with trade guesses ranging between 27.6 and 59.1 million bushels. Colombia (6.3 million) and Mexico (5.6 million) were the top two destinations. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are at roughly two-thirds of last year’s pace, with 948.8 million bushels.

Corn export shipments fared much better, reaching a marketing-year high of 55.1 million bushels and climbing 28% above the prior four-week average. Mexico was the No. 1 destination, taking another 15.5 million bushels. Colombia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan filled out the top five.

Sorghum exports saw an additional 2.4 million bushels in sales last week, with China snapping up more than 99% of the total (Mexico accounted for a very small amount, too). Cumulative sales for the 2019/20 marketing year have more than doubled last year’s pace, with 83.5 million bushels.

Soybean export sales spilled 39% lower week-over-week but remained 19% above the prior four-week average, with 23.3 million bushels in old crop sales and 6.5 million bushels in new crop sales for a total of 29.8 million bushels. That was on the low end of trade guesses, which ranged between 25.7 million and 51.4 million bushels. China was the top buyer last week, with 15.4 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 continue to hold a modest year-over-year lead, with 1.256 billion bushels.

China was also the No. 1 destination for soybean export shipments last week, with 7.7 million bushels. Mexico, Egypt, Indonesia and Malaysia rounded out the top five. Total export shipments were down 23% from a week ago and 11% below the prior four-week average, with 16.2 million bushels.

After a strong performance two weeks ago, wheat exports slid 48% lower to 9.0 million bushels in old crop sales, plus another 5.0 million bushels in new crop sales for a total of 14.0 million bushels. That was in the middle of trade guesses, which had a wide range between 5.5 million and 23.9 million bushels. The Philippines was the top buyer, with 3.2 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are still moderately higher year-over-year, with 824 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments fared better, rising 30% higher week-over-week and 10% above the prior four-week average to 20.9 million bushels. The Philippines was the top destination, with 4.5 million bushels. Italy, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia filled out the top five.

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

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