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Weekly Export Sales – Soybeans offer mixed signals

Sales jump noticeably higher, while shipments fall to marketing-year low.

USDA’s latest batch of grain export sales data were somewhat disappointing data for corn and wheat but yielded some interesting numbers for soybeans, which saw week-over-week sales jump higher, while shipments languished at a marketing-year low for the week ending June 4.

Old crop soybean sales climbed 36% above the prior four-week average to 36.9 million bushels. New crop sales were even better, at 44.6 million bushels, bring the total tally to 81.5 million bushels. Analysts were expecting a more modest haul, with trade guesses ranging between 25.7 million and 62.5 million bushels. China returned as the top buyer for U.S. soybeans last week, with 31.4 million bushels. Cumulative sales for the 2019/20 marketing year remain modestly ahead of last year’s pace, with 1.331 billion bushels.

Soybean export shipments, meantime, spilled to a marketing-year low of 10.8 million bushels, sliding 33% below the prior four-week average. Japan was the No. 1 destination, with 2.2 million bushels. Bangladesh, Mexico, Egypt and Indonesia rounded out the top five.

Corn export sales were more pedestrian last week, chalking up 26.0 million bushels in old crop sales and just 1.0 million bushels in new crop sales for a total tally of 27.0 million bushels. Analysts generally offered more bullish estimates, which ranged between 19.7 million and 43.3 million bushels. Japan was the No. 1 purchaser, with 10.5 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are now at 1.191 billion bushels – still trailing last year’s pace by more than 430 million bushels.

Corn export shipments were much better, holding steady with the prior four-week average of 48.9 million bushels. Mexico was the No. 1 destination, with 11.6 million bushels. South Korea, Japan, Peru and Israel filled out the top five.

Sorghum sales racked up another 6.0 million bushels in old crop and new crop sales last week. Unknown destinations accounted for more than half of that total, with 3.3 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are still more than double of last year’s pace, with 112.4 million bushels. Sorghum export shipments soared 83% above the prior four-week average, with 9.1 million bushels. China accounted for the bulk of that tally, with 7.8 million bushels.

Wheat’s 2020/21 marketing year began June 1, so new crop sales began with a ho-hum 9.9 million bushels to Guatemala, the Philippines, Indonesia, China and Colombia. Old crop sales through May 31 added another 12.3 million bushels. That left cumulative 2019/20 sales at 911.7 million bushels, inching 2% above the prior year’s haul.

Wheat export shipments from June 1 to June 4 reached 6.3 million bushels. China led all destinations, with 2.3 million bushels. Colombia, Italy, Vietnam and Mexico rounded out the top five.

Click here to see all of the latest export sales data from USDA.

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