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Export sales: Corn climbs to marketing-year high

Soybean and wheat volumes lackluster, in contrast

Ben Potter

March 23, 2023

2 Min Read
Ship being loaded with grain for export
Getty Images

USDA’s latest grain export report, out Thursday morning and covering the week through March 16, showed a stark contrast between corn, soybeans and wheat. Corn volume soared to a new marketing-year high, thanks to a flurry of large sales to China last week. However, soybean and wheat sales were largely disappointing, failing to match even the low end of analyst estimates.

Corn exports saw 121.9 million bushels in old crop sales, plus an additional 3.7 million bushels of new crop sales, for a total of 125.6 million bushels – a marketing-year high. That was also toward the high end of trade estimates, which ranged between 66.9 million and 147.6 million bushels. Cumulative sales for the 2022/23 marketing year still have a significant uphill climb to match last year’s pace, reaching 731.7 million bushels.

Corn export shipments were also at a marketing-year high, with 54.4 million bushels. Mexico, Japan, China, Colombia and South Korea were the top five destinations.

Sorghum export sales faded to a marketing-year low, with net reductions of 141,745 bushels due to decreases from China. Cumulative sales for the 2022/23 marketing year are less than one-fifth of last year’s pace so far, with 25.3 million bushels.

Soybean exports saw old crop sales reach 5.6 million bushels, plus another 7.3 million bushels of new crop sales, for a total tally of 12.9 million bushels. That was below the entire range of trade estimates, which came in between 14.7 million and 40.4 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2022/23 marketing year are still tracking slightly above last year’s pace, with 1.600 billion bushels.

Soybean export shipments were more robust but still 26% below the prior four-week average, with 25.9 million bushels. China, the Netherlands, Egypt, Algeria and Mexico were the top five destinations.

Wheat exports saw combined old and new crop sales reach 5.9 million bushels last week. Old crop sales tumbled 59% below the prior four-week average. Analysts were expecting a larger haul, with trade guesses ranging between 7.0 million and 27.6 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2022/23 marketing year are slightly below last year’s pace, with 547.5 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments improved 44% week-over-week but still slid 8% below the prior four-week average, with 13.3 million bushels. China, Mexico, the Philippines, Taiwan and Ecuador were the top five destinations.

Click here for more highlights from the latest UDSA export sales report.

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About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings two decades of professional agricultural communications and journalism experience to Farm Futures. He began working in the industry in the highly specific world of southern row crop production. Since that time, he has expanded his knowledge to cover a broad range of topics relevant to agriculture, including agronomy, machinery, technology, business, marketing, politics and weather. He has won several writing awards from the American Agricultural Editors Association, most recently on two features about drones and farmers who operate distilleries as a side business. Ben is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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