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Low export volumes add to Monday’s losses

Weekly grain movement: Holiday reporting points to smaller export inspection volumes

Jacqueline Holland, Grain market analyst

July 5, 2022

3 Min Read
Ship with containers

USDA released its weekly grain and oilseed export inspections report this morning and the volumes reflected much of the broader sentiments at play at workplaces across the country following the Independence Day holiday weekend. Here are the key highlights from this morning’s data release.

Uncharacteristically low volumes

It is not unusual for export inspection volumes to be underreported following a holiday period. Today was no exception, with all three main commodities (corn, soybeans, and wheat) registering below the pre-report trade forecasts.

These volumes will likely be rectified in next week’s report, after staffing returns to normal following the holiday. Market prices were already trading lower ahead of the report’s release but continued slightly lower in the half hour following before stabilizing.

Soybean export inspection volumes saw the smallest losses in today’s report, dipping 3.8 million bushels from last week to 13.0 million bushels through the week ending June 30. The trade had been expecting 14.7 million – 18.4 million bushels.

Weak wheat volumes

Last week’s USDA report found higher than expected wheat volumes on hand as of June 1, 2022. This indicates that export volumes continued to range on the slow side during the spring, which is not surprising considering a strong dollar paired with high global wheat prices that makes U.S. wheat a less competitive option on the global market relative to other suppliers.

Through the week ending June 30, federal export inspectors surveyed 4.1 million bushels of wheat, down from 13 million bushels in last week’s report. Marketing year to date wheat export inspections are currently trending 24% lower than the same time last year, verifying last week’s USDA data updates.

The trade had been expecting a range between 11.0 million – 18.4 million bushels, so today’s wheat readings were significantly below the trade range, prompting more bearish price activity for September 2022 futures contracts at the Chicago, Kansas City, and Minneapolis grain exchanges.

Corn’s export woes

Corn faced some similar demand concerns over the past few months in the June 30 Quarterly Grain Stocks Report, fighting a higher dollar and optimism for access to Ukrainian supplies as rising futures prices begin to temper global demand for the feedstuff.

Today’s report found weekly corn inspection volumes falling 46% from last week to 26.6 million bushels. Pre-report estimates had ranged between 35.4 million – 47.2 million bushels, so the corn findings were consistent with the other commodities in falling well below the anticipated trade ranges.

Location matters

The Gulf of Mexico handled the largest volume of international grain and oilseed shipments through the week of June 30, inspecting 25.5 million bushels of corn, soybeans, and wheat. Over a third of the volumes shipped from the Gulf consisted of corn, just over a quarter were soybeans, and the remaining 6% were wheat.

As peak wheat export season ramps up, interior export terminals are increasingly the top originators of international wheat shipments. The top destinations for wheat through the week of June 30 were Mexico (2.5M bu.) and Colombia (611K bu.).

Mexico (4.4M bu.) and Japan (6.7M bu.) were the largest buyers of U.S. corn through the week ending June 30. But China also made notable purchases, accounting for 2.7 million bushels of total corn inspected for export last week.

A handful of containers of soybeans were also shipped abroad over the past week. Inspections found 4.7 million bushels of soybeans destined for Germany, plus another 2.5 million bushels earmarked for German buyers and 1.9 million bushels scheduled for shipment to Egypt.

About the Author(s)

Jacqueline Holland

Grain market analyst, Farm Futures

Holland grew up on a dairy farm in northern Illinois. She obtained a B.S. in Finance and Agribusiness from Illinois State University where she was the president of the ISU chapter of the National Agri-Marketing Association. Holland earned an M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University where her research focused on large farm decision-making and precision crop technology. Before joining Farm Progress, Holland worked in the food manufacturing industry as a financial and operational analyst at Pilgrim's and Leprino Foods. She brings strong knowledge of large agribusiness management to weekly, monthly and daily market reports. In her free time, Holland enjoys competing in triathlons as well as hiking and cooking with her husband, Chris. She resides in the Fort Collins, CO area.

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