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May 21, 2020
Soybeans emerged as the clear leader in grain export sales for the week ending May 14, according to data from USDA’s latest weekly report. But wheat exports stumbled 39% below the prior four-week average, and corn sales were also relatively disappointing after taking an 18% dip from a week ago.
Corn exports grabbed 34.8 million bushels in old crop sales minus a net reduction of 1.2 million bushels in new crop sales for a total of 33.6 million bushels, falling on the low end of trade estimates. Old crop sales slumped 18% week-over-week and fell 10% below the prior four-week average. As it often is, Mexico came in as the No. 1 destination last week, with another 8.5 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are now at 1.050 billion bushels, which is still significantly behind last year’s pace of 1.491 billion bushels.
Corn export shipments fared better, with 49.7 million bushels – slipping 4% lower than a week ago but still 10% above the prior four-week average. Mexico was the top destination, with 14.3 million bushels. Japan, China, South Korea and Colombia rounded out the top five.
Sorghum sales continue to shine bright in 2019/20, racking up another 3.3 million bushels last week. While that total was down noticeably week-over-week, cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are more than double last year’s pace, with 94.1 million bushels. Sorghum export shipments last week boomed 91% above the prior four-week average, reaching a marketing-year high of 10.4 million bushels. China accounted for the bulk of the total.
Soybean export sales were solid last week, with 44.3 million bushels in old crop sales plus 17.0 million bushels in new crop sales, besting all trade estimates and jumping 80% above the prior four-week average. China accounted for a significant chunk of the total, with 44.1 million bushels in total purchases. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are still a slight improvement over last year’s pace, with 1.290 billion bushels.
Soybean export shipments inched 2% above the prior four-week average, with 18.4 million bushels. Egypt was the No. 1 destination, with 5.0 million bushels. China, Mexico, Italy and Taiwan filled out the top five.
Wheat exports continue to drag, posting another 6.5 million in old crop sales plus 9.3 million bushels in new crop sales for a total tally of 15.8 million bushels. That was good enough to fall in the middle of trade guesses that ranged between 7.3 million and 23.9 million bushels, although old crop sales tumbled 39% below the prior four-week average. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are still slightly ahead of last year’s pace after reaching 851.1 million bushels.
Related:Deep Dive #4: USDA Export Data
Wheat export shipments were also relatively disappointing last week, at 13.5 million bushels – drifting 23% below the prior four-week average. Japan was the No. 1 destination, with 2.5 million bushels. The Philippines, South Korea, Mexico and Taiwan filled out the top five.
Click here to see all of last week’s export sales data from USDA.
Senior editor, Farm Futures
Senior Editor Ben Potter brings two decades of professional agricultural communications and journalism experience to Farm Futures. He began working in the industry in the highly specific world of southern row crop production. Since that time, he has expanded his knowledge to cover a broad range of topics relevant to agriculture, including agronomy, machinery, technology, business, marketing, politics and weather. He has won several writing awards from the American Agricultural Editors Association, most recently on two features about drones and farmers who operate distilleries as a side business. Ben is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
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