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Weekly Export Sales: More goose eggs from China

Soybeans slump below expectations, with corn posting healthy results.

Ben Potter

November 29, 2018

3 Min Read

Corn export sales last week nearly topped 50 million bushels, and wheat sales also came in ahead of analyst expectations. Soybean sales were lackluster, meantime, as China buyers continue to be conspicuously silent. 

“China cancelled another load of soybeans purchased previously, but otherwise laid more goose eggs in this week’s tally, buying no corn, soybeans, wheat or sorghum from the U.S.,” says Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr. “China still has 9 million bushels of outstanding soybean purchases on the books that also likely will be cancelled, barring a breakthrough at the G20 summit.”

“Corn sales remain good, one reason basis improved noticeably off harvest lows,” Knorr says. “But wheat continues to disappoint as more grain comes onto the market out of the Black Sea than expected.”


Soybean sales totaled 23.1 million bushels for the week ending November 22, down slightly from the prior week’s tally of 25.2 million bushels and just below analyst estimates of 23.9 million bushels. The weekly rate needed to match USDA forecasts inched lower to 20.2 million bushels.

“Even without China, the U.S. met the rate it needs to sell every week through August to meet USDA’s forecast for the 2019 marketing year,” Knorr says. “The big question may be what happens later in 2019 if Brazil has leftover soybeans to sell from a huge crop that farmers there will begin harvesting in December.”

Soybean export shipments reached 37.6 million bushels last week, down 20% from the prior week and falling 15% below the four-week average. For the 2018/19 marketing year, which began September 1, unknown destinations lead the way for U.S. soybean export commitments, accounting for 22% of the total. Other top destinations include the European Union (15%), Mexico (15%) and Argentina (7%). 

Corn export sales reached 49.9 million bushels last week, moving moderately ahead of the prior week’s total of 34.7 million bushels and significantly besting analyst estimates of 26.6 million bushels. The weekly rate needed to reach USDA forecasts eased to 34.9 million bushels.

Corn export shipments of 41.5 million bushels last week failed to keep pace with the weekly rate needed to match USDA forecasts, now at 49.2 million bushels. Mexico is the leading destination for U.S. corn export commitments for the 2018/19 marketing year so far, accounting for 32% of the total. Other top destinations include Japan (18%), South Korea (8%) and unknown destinations (7%).

Wheat export sales of 13.9 million bushels last week beat the prior week’s total of 12.1 million bushels and landed slightly ahead of trade estimates for 13.8 million bushels. The weekly rate needed to match USDA forecasts still moved higher, to 17.6 million bushels, with last week’s totals landing 25% below the prior four-week average.

Wheat export shipments of 9.2 million bushels are far below the weekly rate needed to match USDA forecasts, meantime, which moved up to 24.8 million bushels. For the 2018/19 marketing year, which began June 1, the Philippines occupy the top spot for U.S. wheat export commitments with 15% of the total. Other top destinations include Japan (12%), Mexico (12%) and South Korea (7%).








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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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