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Weekly Grain Movement – "Big Three" take a step back

Corn, soybeans and wheat all post modest week-over-week declines.

Ben Potter

March 22, 2021

2 Min Read
silos at a dock
Krasyuk/iStock/GettyImages

The latest batch of grain export inspection data from USDA, out Monday morning and covering the week through March 18, showed a downward trend for corn, soybean and wheat volume – but the news wasn’t all bearish. Corn and soybean export inspections stayed on the higher end of analyst estimates, with wheat surpassing the entire range of trade guesses last week.

Corn export inspections tilted slightly lower week-over-week to 77.2 million bushels. That was still good enough to land on the higher end of trade estimates, which ranged between 63.0 million and 86.6 million bushels. And cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year continue to grow its lead over last year’s pace, reaching 1.259 billion bushels.

Mexico was the No. 1 destination for U.S. corn export inspections last week, with 17.8 million bushels. China wasn’t far behind, with 16.4 million bushels. South Korea, Colombia and Indonesia rounded out the top five.

Sorghum export inspections fell to roughly a third of the prior week’s volume, to 2.8 million bushels. China took nearly all of that total, with Mexico accounting for the slim remainder. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year are still more than doubling last year’s pace, with 162.6 million bushels.

Soybean export inspections reached 18.0 million bushels, trailing the prior week’s tally by 11%. That was still on the upper end of trade estimates, which ranged between 11.0 million and 22.0 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year still have a commanding lead over last year’s pace, now at 1.971 billion bushels.

Egypt emerged as the No. 1 destination for U.S. soybean export inspections last week, with 6.1 million bushels. Mexico, Indonesia, Japan and Taiwan filled out the top five.

Wheat export inspections slid moderately lower week-over-week, to 23.8 million bushels. That surpassed the entire range of analyst estimates, which were between 11.9 million and 21.1 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2020/21 marketing year have reached 733.2 million bushels and are slightly behind year-over-year totals of 738.5 million bushels.

Bangladesh was the No. 1 destination for U.S. wheat export inspections last week, with 4.3 million bushels. Japan, Mexico, China and Thailand rounded out the top five.

Click here to read through more highlights from the latest USDA grain export inspection report.

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.

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