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Weekly Grain Movement – A sluggish start to 2021

Getty Images News close up of soybeans
Corn, soybeans and wheat all land on lower end of trade estimates.

USDA’s latest grain export inspection report, covering the week through December 31, didn’t ring in any bullish news for the agency’s first report of 2021. Corn, soybeans and wheat each saw a week-over-week decline, with all crops landing on the lower end of analyst estimates.

Corn export inspections faded 27% below the prior week’s tally, landing at 35.9 million bushels. Analysts were generally expecting a more robust tally, with trade guesses ranging between 29.5 million and 51.2 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year are still well ahead of last year’s pace, meantime, with 586.9 million bushels.

Mexico and China topped all destinations for U.S. corn export inspections last week, with 11.7 million and 11.1 million bushels, respectively. Colombia, Guatemala and Panama rounded out the top five.

Sorghum export inspections dropped sharply last week, falling to 3.3 million bushels. China accounted for nearly all of that total, with South Korea picking up the tiny remainder. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year are still more than doubling last year’s pace so far, with 89.4 million bushels.

Soybean export inspections slid 41% lower week-over-week, falling to just below 48.0 million bushels. That was also on the low end of trade estimates, which ranged between 36.7 million and 73.5 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year are still nearly doubling last year’s pace, with 1.416 billion bushels.

China again accounted for more than half of all U.S. soybean export inspections last week, with 40.0 million bushels. Mexico, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands filled out the top five.

Wheat export inspections trailed the prior week’s pace by 20%, falling to 11.9 million bushels. That was on the lower end of trade estimates, which ranged between 11.0 million and 18.4 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year are tracking slightly below last year’s pace after reaching 546 million bushels.

China led all destinations for U.S. wheat export inspections, with 4.6 million bushels. The Philippines, Japan, Yemen and Mexico rounded out the top five.

Click here for additional data from USDA’s latest grain export inspection report.

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