Farm Progress

Weekly Export Sales: Grains fade below trade estimates

Corn and soybean exports come in below analyst guesses, while wheat trends higher.

Ben Potter

March 23, 2018

21 Slides

Bow view of fully loaded cargo ship.Stewart Sutton/ThinkstockPhotos

USDA’s latest weekly export sales report, delayed one day due to snowy conditions in Washington, D.C., didn’t have much bullish news to share. Corn, soybean and wheat exports for the week ending March 15 all came in below trade expectations.

Corn saw 57.6 million bushels in old crop sales, minus 600,000 reductions reported in new crop sales, for net exports of 57.3 million bushels. That was well below the prior week’s total of 98.6 million bushels – a marketing-year high for 2017/18, and moderately below trade estimates of 76.8 million bushels. Still, last week’s performance lowered the weekly rate needed to reach USDA forecasts, now down to 18.7 million bushels.

Corn export shipments totaled 54.1 million bushels, which was 2% below the prior week’s total and 20% above the prior four-week average. Japan was the No. 1 destination, with 10.9 million bushels. Other top destinations included South Korea, Mexico, Colombia and Saudi Arabia. 

Soybean export sales found 27.9 million bushels in old crop sales, plus another 5.1 million bushels in new crop sales, for a total of 33 million bushels in total sales. That performance was moderately below the prior week’s total of 46.7 million bushels, as well as trade estimates of 43.2 million bushels. The weekly rate to reach USDA forecasts fell to 9.4 million bushels.

Soybean export shipments landed at 20.2 million bushels, which was a marketing year low – 39% below the prior week and 41% below the four-week average. China occupied the typical No. 1 position, with 4.8 million bushels. Other top destinations included the Netherlands, Egypt, Mexico and Japan. 

Wheat exports landed 9.7 million bushels in old crop sales and another 6.0 million bushels in new crop sales for a total of 15.8 million bushels. That bested the prior week’s total of 6.0 million bushels, as well as trade estimates of 11.9 million bushels. The weekly rate to reach USDA’s forecast is down to a manageable 9.2 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments saw a 41% boost from the prior week and came in 31% higher than the prior four-week average. Last week’s top destination was Morocco, with 3.5 million bushels. Other top destinations included South Korea, Nigeria, Thailand and Japan. 

Sorghum export sales saw a net reduction of 1.4 million bushels after Chinese and Japanese sales were more than offset by cancellations from unknown destinations. Still, export shipments of 9.8 million bushels were 34% higher than the prior week and 15% above the four-week average.

Cotton export sales of 338,400 bales came in 5% higher than the prior week but slipped 3% below the four-week average.

About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings more than 14 years 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.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like


Aug 29 - Aug 31, 2023
Farm Progress Show annually hosts more than 600 exhibitors displaying new farm equipment, tractors, combines and farm implements; seed and crop protection products; and many additional farm supplies and services.
LEARN MORE