Farm Progress

Weekly Export Sales: Soybeans blast past expectations

Soybean exports nearly double trade expectations after huge sales reported.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

September 21, 2017

19 Slides

Trade estimates ahead of USDA’s weekly Export Sales report tend to be pretty solid – but those numbers can fly out the window when a string of large sales are reported.

USDA reports any daily sales activity over 100,000 metric tons (about 3.67 million bushels). Such a sale was reported for soybeans every day last week. That tallied up to 85.9 million bushels in old crop sales for the week ending September 14. That was above the trade estimate of 49.6 million bushels and well beyond USDA’s forecast of 24.8 million bushels. 

Major soybean sales were reported for China, unknown destinations, Mexico, Taiwan and Pakistan. Export shipments totaled 34.7 million bushels and went primarily went to China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mexico and Costa Rica.

Corn export sales posted much more tepid results, meantime. Old crop sales totaled 20.7 million bushels, which was below last week’s total (41.2 million bushels), trade estimates (33.5 million bushels) and USDA’s forecast (29.5 million bushels). 

Top sales went to Mexico (10.4 million bushels), Japan (4.4 million bushels), Colombia (2.9 million bushels), Costa Rica (1.2 million bushels) and Peru (948,774 bushels). Top export shipments headed to Mexico, Peru, Japan, Colombia and Costa Rica. 

Wheat sales were down another 3% from a week ago and 24% lower than the four-week average. Old crop sales totaled 11.3 million bushels, which was both lower than the trade estimates (14.7 million bushels) and USDA’s forecast (13.7 million bushels).

Export shipments for wheat also lagged – 3% lower than a week ago and 9% lower than the four-week average. Top destinations included the Philippines (4.4 million bushels), Mexico (2.5 million bushels), Nigeria (2.1 million bushels), Kenya (1.5 million bushels) and Guatemala (1.2 million bushels). 

Soymeal export shipments were up 39% from a week ago but still off 4% from the four-week average. Soyoil export shipments were up significantly from a week ago (but net sales were down).

Highlights from other crops include:

  • Cotton – Net sales were 28% higher than the four-week average, and export shipments were 53% higher than a week ago

  • Rice – Net sales were 37% higher than a week ago, but down 7% from the four-week average. Export shipments were up 17% from a week ago and were 81% higher than the four-week average

  • Sorghum – Net sales totaled 2.0 million bushels, with increases for China partially offset by reductions from unknown destinations. Export shipments of 2.8 million bushels were reported, headed primarily to China and Mexico.

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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