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Weekly Export Sales: Soybean estimates were way overestimated

Corn, soybean and wheat totals all fall below the prior week’s tally.


Grain exports hit a definite lull last week according to the latest data from USDA, out Thursday morning. Soybeans, in particular, saw a sharp week-over-week decline and came in less than a third of the average trade guess.

“Traders weren’t expecting today’s numbers for soybeans to come in anywhere close to last week’s big totals, and they got even less,” says Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr. “USDA announced no big sales to China or other customers during the period included in today’s report, which ended April 4. And China’s net purchases actually dropped slightly due to cancellations.”

Knorr notes that China was still the No. 1 destination for U.S. soybeans last week, after buyers continue to take deliveries on purchases that stretch back to last December, when trade talks began to heat up.

“But it remains to be seen whether China will aggressively buy more old crop beans or focus instead on new crop,” he adds.


Soybean exports saw just 9.9 million bushels in old crop sales plus another 400,000 bushels in new crop sales for a total of 10.3 million bushels last week. That was steeply lower than the prior week’s total of 73.2 million bushels and significantly below analyst estimates of 37.7 million bushels. The rate needed to match USDA forecasts moved slightly higher, to 12.5 million bushels.

Soybean export shipments were more robust last week, at 36.6 million bushels and staying ahead of the weekly pace of 35.2 million bushels needed to meet USDA forecasts. China still leads all destinations for U.S. soybean export commitments, with 29% of the total. Other top destinations this marketing year include the European Union (16%), Mexico (11%), Egypt (5%) and Japan (5%).



Corn exports found 21.6 million bushels in old crop sales last week, dipping below the prior week’s tally of 24.8 million bushels and down moderately from trade estimates of 35.4 million bushels. The weekly rate needed to match USDA forecasts moved higher, to 27.5 million bushels.

Corn export shipments last week reached 39.4 million bushels. So far in the 2018/19 marketing year, Mexico is the top destination for U.S. corn export commitments, with 32% of the total. Other leading destinations include Japan (21%), Colombia (8%), South Korea (8%), Peru (4%) and Taiwan (4%).



Wheat exports dropped significantly week-over-week after tallying 10.0 million bushels in old crop sales and 7.4 million bushels in new crop sales for a total of 17.4 million bushels. The prior week’s total was 37.4 million bushels, however. Last week’s total also failed to match trade estimates of 20.2 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments were for 15.8 million bushels last week. For the 2018/19 marketing year, which concludes in less than two months, Mexico and the Philippines are the top destinations for U.S. wheat export commitments, each accounting for 12% of the total. Other leading destinations include South Korea (6%), Nigeria (6%) and Indonesia (5%).



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