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Weekly grain movement: Signs of a comeback?

Getty/iStockphoto Barge on open water with shipping containers
Corn and soybean volume tilt moderately higher last week.

USDA’s latest batch of grain export inspection data, out Monday morning and covering the week through Sept. 16, held mixed but mostly positive numbers for traders to digest. Corn volume more than doubled from the prior week, while soybeans also saw moderate improvements. Both crops are still off to a very slow start compared to a year ago, however. Wheat inched slightly lower but still stayed on the upper end of trade estimates.

Corn export inspections jumped 153% higher from a week ago to reach 15.9 million bushels. That was also toward the higher end of trade estimates, which ranged between 5.9 million and 17.7 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2021/22 marketing year are still off to a sluggish start compared to a year ago, with 23.7 million bushels since the start of September.

Mexico (8.6 million bushels) and China (5.5 million bushels) were by far the top two destinations for U.S. corn export inspections last week. Japan, Jamaica and Taiwan rounded out the top five.

Sorghum export inspections had another tepid week, moving from 178,000 bushels to 320,000 bushels through last Thursday. Cumulative totals for the young 2021/22 marketing year have started off at less than 10% of last year’s pace so far.

Soybean export inspections improved 42% from a week ago to reach 10.1 million bushels. That was near the middle of trade estimates, which ranged between 3.7 million and 14.7 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2021/22 marketing year are still off to a very slow start compared to a year ago, with 18.3 million bushels since Sept. 1.

Mexico was the No. 1 destination for U.S. soybean export inspections last week, with 3.3 million bushels. Japan, China, Italy and Vietnam filled out the top five.

Wheat export inspections moved fractionally lower week-over-week, to 20.7 million bushels. That was on the very high end of trade estimates, which ranged between 12.9 million and 22.0 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2021/22 marketing year are still moderately trailing last year’s pace, with 283.4 million bushels.

Mexico led all destinations for U.S. wheat export inspections last week, with just under 4.0 million bushels. Asian nations that included the Philippines, Japan, China and South Korea rounded out the top five.

Click here to read more from the latest USDA grain export inspection report, which covers the week through Sept. 16.

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