Weekly Export Sales: Welcome to the winter doldrums

Slumping corn, soybean and wheat sales close out 2017.

Weekly export sales cratered for corn, soybeans and wheat for the week ending Dec. 28, down to just a fraction of the prior week’s total volume.

Corn fell to 4 million bushels of old and new crop sales for the week. That was a 2017/18 marketing year low, down 92% from a week ago and 91% lower than the four-week average. It was also well below trade estimates of 34.5 million bushels, as well as the weekly rate needed to reach USDA’s forecast, now at 25 million bushels. 

Corn export shipments were markedly better, at 25.9 million bushels, although that also remains well below the weekly rate needed to reach USDA’s forecast, at 43 million bushels. Primary destinations included Mexico (7.3 million bushels), Japan (5.9 million bushels), South Korea (5.2 million bushels), Peru (2.1 million bushels) and Guatemala (1.4 million bushels).

Wheat export sales didn’t fare much better for the week ending Dec. 28, with 4.8 million bushels in total sales. That’s less than half the volume a week ago (11.8 million bushels), not to mention trade estimates of 13.3 million bushels. The weekly pace needed to reach USDA’s forecast has reached 12.1 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments totaled 8.4 million bushels, meantime, which is well below the weekly pace needed to reach USDA’s forecast, now set at 22.4 million bushels. That volume came in 56% lower than the week prior and 49% below the four-week average. Top destinations included Mexico, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.

Soybean export sales fared somewhat better, with a total volume of 20.4 million bushels of old crop sales and another 200,000 bushels in new crop sales. Still, it was less than one-third of the prior week’s total of 74.1 million bushels, and it fell below trade estimates of 29.4 million bushels. The weekly pace needed to reach USDA’s forecast is still reasonable, at 20.5 million bushels. 

Soybean export shipments reached 42.2 million bushels for the week, also ahead of USDA’s forecast pace of 33.8 million bushels. China, as it typically does, accounted for more than half of the total, with 24.9 million bushels. Other top destinations included the Netherlands, Vietnam, Japan and Mexico. 

Sorghum export shipments of 858,277 bushels fell 38% below last week’s total and 59% below the four-week average, with China accounting for the only significant destination.

Cotton export sales of 193,900 bales had mixed results based on the point of comparison, landing 19% higher than the week prior but 17% below the four-week average.

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