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Export Sales: Soybean shipments spill to marketing-year low

BanksPhotos/iStock/Getty Images Freshly harvested soybeans are being offloaded from a combine, falling from an auger, into a grain truck.
Corn and wheat sales slide lower week-over-week.

The latest batch of grain export sales data from USDA, out Friday morning (delayed from its usual Thursday release due to the Memorial Day holiday) and covering the week through May 27, didn’t hold a lot of overly optimistic numbers for traders to crunch. Old crop sales for corn, soybeans and wheat all fell lower from the prior week, and soybean export shipments tumbled to a marketing-year low.

Old crop corn export sales slipped 5% lower week-over-week to 20.9 million bushels. New crop sales added another 17.3 million bushels, for a total of 38.2 million bushels. That was on the upper end of trade estimates, which ranged between 3.9 million and 51.2 million bushels. Cumulative sales for the 2020/21 marketing year are still well above last year’s pace, with 2.018 billion bushels.

Corn export shipments fared better after trending 15% higher from a week ago and 9% above the prior four-week average, with 83.8 million bushels. China accounted for more than half of that total, with 44.3 million bushels. Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Colombia rounded out the top five.

Sorghum exports saw a fractional reduction in old crop sales and 7.3 million bushels in new crop sales last week. China was the sole destination for these sales. Sorghum export shipments jumped 62% above the prior four-week average, to 9.3 million bushels. That grain is also bound for China.

Old crop soybean exports only saw 654,000 bushels in sales last week, falling 82% below the prior four-week average. New crop sales added another 6.6 million bushels, bringing the total tally to 7.3 million bushels. That was on the lower end of trade estimates, which were predicting as much as 22.0 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year retain a commanding lead over last year’s pace after reaching 2.112 billion bushels.

Soybean export shipments were disappointing, falling to a marketing-year low of just 8.1 million bushels. Mexico was the No. 1 destination, with 3.8 million bushels. Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Colombia filled out the top five.

Old crop wheat exports were down noticeably from a week ago, with net reductions of 1.2 million bushels. New crop sales fared much better, with 14.6 million bushels, for a total of 13.4 million bushels. That was close to the middle of trade guesses, which ranged between 6.4 million and 22.0 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year have slipped slightly behind last year’s pace, with 894.6 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments fell 56% below the prior four-week average, to 8.9 million bushels. Mexico topped all destinations, with 2.3 million bushels. South Korea, Burma, Malaysia and Brazil rounded out the top five.

Click here for more highlights and insights from the latest USDA report, which covers May 21 through May 27.

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