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Serving: United States

Export Sales: Corn and wheat disappoint

luhuanfeng/iStock/Getty Images Wheat, corn and soybean
Soybeans also spill below analyst expectations last week.

The latest USDA export sales report, covering the week through February 18, held a lot of bearish data to digest. Corn and wheat totals faded to marketing-year lows, while soybeans took a significant week-over-week tumble. The disappointing data set pushed grain prices substantially lower Thursday morning.

Corn exports saw 17.8 million bushels in old crop sales – a marketing year low – plus another 5.7 million bushels in new crop sales for a total tally of 23.5 million bushels. That was on the very low end of trade estimates, which ranged between 21.7 million and 63.0 million bushels. Mexico topped all destinations, with 6.9 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year remain well above last year’s pace, with 951.1 million bushels.

Corn export shipments were better but still slid 11% below the prior four-week average to 46.9 million bushels. Mexico was the No. 1 destination, with 12.6 million bushels. Japan, Vietnam, China and Peru rounded out the top five.

Sorghum export sales saw a slight net reduction after seeing some reductions from China. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year remain far ahead of last year’s pace, meantime, with 116.6 million bushels.

Old crop soybean sales tumbled 72% below the prior four-week average, to 6.2 million bushels. New crop sales chipped in another 2.6 million bushels, for a total of 8.8 million bushels. That was on the lower end of trade estimates, which had cast a wide range of 7.3 million to 47.8 million bushels. The Netherlands topped all destinations, with 5.1 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year are still nearly doubling last year’s pace, with 1.898 billion bushels.

Soybean export shipments inched 5% higher week-over-week but were still 42% below the prior four-week average, with 38.7 million bushels. China was the No. 1 destination, with 8.2 million bushels. The Netherlands, Mexico, Egypt and Japan filled out the top five.

Old crop wheat export sales stumbled to a marketing-year low, with 6.2 million bushels. New crop sales only added another 543,000 bushels, for a total of around 6.7 million bushels. That tepid tally was below all trade guesses, which ranged between 11.0 million and 31.2 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year are drifting further below last year’s pace, with 632.7 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments were more robust, with 14.4 million bushels, but that was still 14% worse than the prior four-week average. China led all destinations, with 2.6 million bushels. Mexico, Nigeria, Malaysia and Ecuador rounded out the top five.

Click here for more highlights from the latest USDA export report, covering February 12 through February 18.

Check out last week's report: Export Sales: More lackluster results

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