Anyone looking for bullish news in the latest USDA weekly export inspection report, out Monday morning, need look no further than wheat inspections, which reached a marketing-year high for the week ending May 9. Corn and soybeans posted more mediocre results but stayed within the range of trade expectations.
Wheat export inspections reached 31.0 million bushels last week, which was moderately above the prior week’s tally of 19.8 million bushels and above trade guesses that ranged between 14 million and 22 million bushels. The weekly rate needed to meet USDA forecasts as the 2018/19 marketing year winds down eased to 21.9 million bushels, with year-to-date totals of 837 million bushels now slightly higher year-over-year.
“Totals last week reached a marketing-year high, thanks to deliveries to 20 different countries,” according to Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr. “Several of the destinations were even a bit exotic, Jamaica and Mozambique. With only three more weeks in the marketing year, wheat could reach USDA’s forecast for the crop if totals stay this strong. Of course, the government lowered that bar in Friday’s report by 20 million bushels, making the target a little more in reach.”
Indonesia was the No. 1 destination for U.S. wheat export inspections last week, with 4.3 million bushels. Other leading destinations included the Philippines (4.1 million), Iraq (3.9 million), Japan (3.3 million) and Egypt (2.3 million).
Corn export inspections reached 39.4 million bushels last week, moving slightly ahead of the prior week’s total of 38.5 million bushels and on the high end of trade estimates that ranged between 33 million and 43 million bushels. The weekly rate needed to reach USDA forecasts continued to move higher, however, now at 50.4 million bushels, while year-to-date totals of 1.442 billion bushels remains 5.3% higher year-over-year.
“Corn numbers remain decent, especially considering the problems faced by shippers trying to originate cargoes at a Gulf short supply due to flooding on the river system,” Knorr says. “But the pace of deliveries must pick up this summer to reach the government’s forecast.”
Japan was the No. 1 destination for U.S. corn export inspections last week, with 13.5 million bushels. Other leading destinations included Mexico (9.3 million), South Korea (4.7 million), Colombia (3.9 million) and Taiwan (3.4 million).
Soybean export inspections were for 18.9 million bushels last week, falling below the prior week’s tally of 22.2 million bushels and landing on the low end of trade estimates that ranged between 16 million and 25 million bushels. The weekly rate needed to reach USDA forecasts moved higher, to 33.8 million bushels. Marketing year-to-date totals of 1.200 billion bushels remain 27% lower year-over-year.
“China accounted for 10 million of this week’s soybean inspections, with buyers perhaps anticipating a deal would get done,” Knorr says. “That didn’t happen of course, so it will be interesting to see if these ships switch destinations now that they’re underway. Vessel tracking services shown the four ships inspected last week as bound for Singapore. While not unusual for Chinese purchases, it does raise a few questions."
China’s 10 million bushels led all destinations for U.S. soybean export inspections last week. Other top destinations included Indonesia (3.4 million) and Mexico (2.8 million). All other destinations rounded out the total, accounting for 2.6 million bushels.