The latest grain export inspection data from USDA, covering the week ending January 9 and released Monday morning, was mixed but mostly positive, as soybean and wheat volume climbed higher week-over-week. Corn volume, in contrast, moved moderately lower from a week ago and landed on the low end of trade estimates.
As it has most weeks this marketing year, soybeans led the way in total volume after churning out another 41.8 million bushels this past week. That was slightly ahead of the prior week’s tally of 38.2 million bushels and moderately better than the average trade guess of 29.4 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2019/20 marketing year are now at 843.5 million bushels, trending nearly 25% higher year-over-year so far.
Traders are optimistic a phase-one U.S.-China trade deal, expected to be signed later this week, will extend that year-over-year advantage. China remains an active buyer of U.S. soybeans in the meantime, with the country’s export inspections accounting for another 15.2 million bushels last week. The Netherlands and Pakistan rounded out the top three.
Wheat export inspections also outperformed analyst expectations last week, with its total of 17.4 million bushels besting the average trade guess of 14.5 million bushels while moving 37% above the prior week’s tally. As with soybeans, wheat’s cumulative totals for this marketing year are moderately outpacing last year’s results so far after reaching 565.7 million bushels.
South Korea was the No. 1 destination for wheat export inspections last week, with nearly 3.0 million bushels. Mexico and the Philippines were not far behind that amount, with a selection of other nations from diverse geographies filling out the remainder.
Corn export inspections were a relative disappointment in comparison, reaching just 18.1 million bushels last week. That was on the low end of trade estimates, which ranged between 17.7 million and 25.6 million bushels. The prior week’s tally was also moderately higher, at 21.7 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2018/19 marketing year are now at 356.8 million bushels – less than half of the volume compared to the same time a year ago.
Mexico (6.3 million), Colombia (4.2 million) and Japan (3.2 million) accounted for the bulk of U.S. corn export inspections last week. Only a handful of other countries were small blips on the radar to fill out the remainder.
Click here to read the entire latest export inspection data from USDA.