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Weekly Grain Movement – Were trade guesses too optimistic?

Corn, soybeans and wheat all land on the lower end of analyst estimates last week.

USDA’s weekly grain export inspection report, out Monday morning, failed ton contain a lot of optimistic data, as corn, soybean and wheat volume all decreased week-over-week for the latest reporting period, through March 5. Corn performed the best overall, as it has done in recent weeks, but remains increasingly unlikely to match last year’s tally.

Corn export inspections last week reached 32.7 million bushels, easing 7% from a week ago and landing on the lower half of trade estimates, which ranged between 31.5 million and 43.3 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are gaining a bit of traction, reaching 588.5 million bushels, but remains 44% below last year’s pace.

Mexico continues to lead the way in U.S. corn export inspections, accounting for another 12.4 million bushels last week. Japan was a distant second, with 7.9 million bushels. Chile, Costa Rica and South Korea rounded out the top five.

Soybean export inspections also fell week-over-week, moving from 24.7 million bushels down to 21.0 million bushels. Trade estimates were generally more hopeful, with a range of guesses between 18.4 million and 29.4 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are still hanging on to a 12.2% lead over last year’s pace, now at 1.107 billion bushels.

China’s participation remains thin for now, but the country was the No. 1 destination for U.S. soybean export inspections last week, with 5.1 million bushels. Japan was a close second, with 4.5 million bushels. Indonesia, Mexico and the Netherlands filled out the top five, with around 2.4 million bushels apiece.

Wheat export inspections took a moderate step back, declining 37% from a week ago to 15.3 million bushels. Analysts were largely expecting a more robust haul, with estimates ranging between 14.7 million and 25.7 million bushels. Still, cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are maintaining a modest lead over last year’s pace, with 706.5 million bushels.

South Korea (3.0 million), Mexico (2.7 million) and Japan (2.7 million) accounted for the bulk of U.S. wheat export inspections last week. Small volumes from a dozen or so other countries filled out the remainder.

Click here to read the entire latest grain export inspection report from USDA.

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