The Thanksgiving holiday offered an opportunity for some much-needed rest last week – unfortunately, that also meant for stingy grain export, according to the latest USDA sales data, covering the week ending November 28.
Soybeans have been the shining star in USDA’s export sales reports for the past several weeks, but exports faded significantly this past week after reaching just 25.1 million bushels. Analysts were anticipating a much more robust total, with an average trade guess of 36.7 million bushels. Totals also tumbled 59% from a week ago and were 55% below the prior four-week average. China took nearly half of the total, with 11.0 million bushels.
But China also bought the fewest amount of U.S. soybeans in six weeks as the trade war between the two countries drags on. China has indicated that current tariffs must be lowered if it is to reach an interim trade deal with the U.S. Chinese purchases of U.S. soybeans typically sees a seasonal peak during the fall months.
Soybean export shipments were better but still 10% below the prior four-week average, with 55.0 million bushels. China snapped up more than two-thirds of that total, with 37.6 million bushels. Mexico, Thailand, Indonesia and Pakistan rounded out the top five.
Corn export sales were also disappointing last week but closer in line to analyst estimates of 27.6 million bushels after tallying 21.5 million bushels in old crop sales, plus another 94,000 bushels in new crop sales. Corn’s total for the week ending November 28 also fell 32% from the prior week’s tally and 18% below the prior four-week average. Japan was the No. 1 destination, with 9.3 million bushels, followed by Colombia, Mexico and Canada.
Corn export shipments were also down 22% week-over-week, landing at 19.5 million bushels. Mexico accounted for more than half of that total, with 11.3 million bushels, followed by Japan, Honduras, El Salvador and Colombia.
Wheat export sales only gathered 8.4 million bushels last week, slumping 63% from the prior week and dropping 45% below the prior four-week average. Analysts were hoping for a much better haul, with an average trade guess of 18.4 million bushels. Unknown destinations took nearly half of the total, with 3.7 million bushels. Other leading destinations included Mexico, the Philippines, Italy and Jamaica.
Wheat export inspections shrank to a marketing year low, with just 8.5 million bushels – spilling 48% below the prior four-week average. Italy was the No. 1 destination, with 2.3 million bushels. South Korea, Mexico, Japan and Jamaica rounded out the top five.
Click here for a full rundown of the most recent USDA export sales highlights.