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Corn Sales Surprise, Beans Stumble

Increased hope that end users are starting to realize the impact of drought in South America.

Bryce Knorr 1, Senior Market Analyst, Farm Futures

January 29, 2009

2 Min Read

Corn exports posted another solid week in data released this morning by USDA, with net old crop bookings recording a second straight marketing year high. While the total for the week, 43.6 million bushels, is still well under highs from last year's torrid pace, it increases hopes that end users are starting to realize the impact of drought in South America.

Lack of a Chinese export program, despite record production, is also giving a lift to sales into regular Asian customers. Japan took 37% of this week's total, and South Korea has bought three loads of U.S. corn so far this week. However, South Korea actually wanted to buy more, indicating it would also seek South American or Chinese originations.

Soybean sales, meanwhile, slipped from their recent torrid pace in the week before this year's market-closing Lunar New Year celebration. Sales totaled 19.6 million bushels — a good number for this time of the winter most years — with China taking less than half the weekly total. That suggests other end users are looking to secure supplies due to smaller South American crops, though production in Brazil could still be decent. Chinese sales accounted for 58% of last week's net new business, and have exceeded 90% at times this marketing year.

Wheat sales took a big hit from a previously announced cancellation of 13 million bushels of hard red winter wheat by Nigeria. That dropped the weekly total to just 3.8 million bushels, a marketing year low, well below trade guesses. However, both sales and shipments remain well ahead of the pace needed to reach USDA's forecast for the marketing year. While supplies of lower quality wheat are abundant, milling grain is in shorter supply, helping the U.S. maintain its market share in the face of record global production.

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About the Author(s)

Bryce Knorr 1

Senior Market Analyst, Farm Futures

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