Weekly Grain Movement – Great grain expectations

Wheat pushes ahead, but can it match the pace of 2016?

After multiple weeks of dragging behind 2016 and the five-year average, wheat is back on pace. But was the push big enough to help it catch up to past performances? 

Not quite – for the 2017/18 marketing year, which began June 1, wheat’s total export inspection volume is 365 million bushels. That’s a bit lower than a year ago, with 373 million bushels posted by this time in 2016/17. 

Still, wheat export inspections for the week ending Sept. 28, with 25.4 million bushels, were well ahead of last week’s totals and outflanked the trade estimate of 11 million to 18 million bushels. Top destinations for the week included China (4.24 million bushels), the Philippines (3.59 million bushels), Taiwan (3.24 million bushels), Mexico (2.87 million bushels) and Chile (2.49 million bushels).

USDA corn export inspections were more even and in line with expectations, however. The 30.8 million bushels for the week ending Sept. 28 was nearly identical to a week ago (30.7 million bushels) and close to center of average trade estimates (27 to 35 million bushels). For the 2017/18 marketing year, which began Sept. 1, corn export inspections have reached a total volume of 115 million bushels – well behind 2016’s pace of 227 million bushels. 

Mexico was the runaway top destination for the week ending Sept. 28, taking nearly half of all volume at 15.03 million bushels. Other top destinations included Japan (6.09 million bushels), Colombia (5.40 million bushels) and Korea (2.85 million bushels).

Soybean export inspections were 32.9 million bushels, coming in lower than last week (38.1 million bushels) and just below the average trade guess of 34 to 44 million bushels. Still, the pace of the 2017/18 marketing year, which began Sept. 1, has tracked faster than 2016/17. So far, volume has totaled 146 million bushels, compared to 125 million bushels a year ago.

China once again represented more than half of last week’s volume, with 17.6 million bushels. Other top destinations included Mexico (4.1 million bushels), Bangladesh (2.1 million bushels), Indonesia (1.4 million bushels) and Japan (1.3 million bushels).

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