Weekly Export Sales: Corn jumps way above estimates

DarcyMaulsby /iStock/Thinkstock. grain barge river elevator
This barge on the Mississippi River in eastern Iowa is taking on a load of grain, either corn or soybeans, from area farms.
Wheat sales also land 54% ahead of the prior four-week average

The latest weekly grain export report from USDA, out Thursday morning and covering the week through October 22, revealed a round of mostly bullish data. Soybeans have taken the center stage in recent weeks, but corn dominated sales this past week after surpassing all trade estimates and jumping 56% above the prior four-week average. Wheat sales were also up significantly from a week ago, and soybeans maintained a solid pace despite sliding moderately below last week’s pace.

Corn export sales climbed to 88.3 million bushels, besting all trade estimates, which ranged between 27.6 million and 59.1 million bushels. Unknown destinations topped the list, accounting for 30.1 million bushels. Cumulative sales for the 2020/21 marketing year are close to doubling last year’s pace so far, with 241.1 million bushels since September 1.

Corn export shipments slid 18% below last week’s pace and 14% below the prior four-week average, meantime, with 28.9 million bushels. Mexico led all destinations, with just under 10.0 million bushels. China, Colombia, Japan and Guatemala rounded out the top five.

Soybean export sales dropped 27% week-over-week and fell 35% below the prior four-week average, with 59.6 million bushels. That was still roughly in the middle of trade estimates, which ranged between 36.7 million and 73.5 million bushels. China took around two-thirds of that total, with 39.5 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year have risen far above last year’s pace so far, with 518.8 million bushels.

Soybean export shipments were more robust, moving 35% above the prior four-week average to 99.1 million bushels. China accounted for most of that sum, with 71.3 million bushels. Mexico, the Netherlands, Thailand and South Korea filled out the top five.

Wheat export sales were unexpectedly bullish, with 27.3 million bushels last week. That was 54% better than the prior four-week average and exceeded all trade guesses, which ranged between 7.3 million and 25.7 million bushels. South Korea led all destinations, with 7.2 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year are still slightly ahead of last year’s pace, with 390.7 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments dropped 14% below the prior four-week average to 16.3 million bushels. Japan was the No. 1 destination, with 3.9 million bushels. Guatemala, Brazil, Taiwan and Mexico rounded out the top five.

Click here to see more highlights from the latest USDA export report, covering October 16 through October 22.

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