Farm Progress

Weekly Grain Movement – is the momentum sufficient?

Volume was better than last week, but that’s not the full picture.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

September 25, 2017

7 Slides

Weekly grain export inspections for the week ending Sept. 21 showed improvements from a week ago in corn, soybeans and wheat. That didn’t necessarily make it a bullish report, however.

USDA corn export inspections totaled 29.1 million bushels, up from last week’s total of 27.1 million bushels. Even so, the total came on the low end of the average trade guess (27-35 million bushels) and was well below numbers from a year ago, with 53.5 million bushels.

For the week ending Sept. 21, Mexico led the charge of top destinations, with 11.32 million bushels, followed by Peru (5.57 million bushels), Colombia (4.51 million bushels), Japan (3.99 million bushels) and Honduras (1.50 million bushels).

The 2017/18 marketing year is young, but corn export sales inspections are already considerably behind a year ago, with 83 million bushels total so far this year, versus 169 million bushels a year ago.

Soybean export inspections totaled 37.9 million bushels, up from last week’s total of 34.2 million bushels. Like corn, volume came in on the low end of the average trade guess of 36 million to 47 million bushels. Even so, year-to-date volume is ahead of last year, with 113 million bushels versus 85 million bushels in 2016. As noted in last week’s recap, sales typically decline through September before picking up sharply from October through December. 

Nearly 75% of exports were headed to China (27.3 million bushels), with other top destinations including Thailand (2.7 million bushels), Bangladesh (2.1 million bushels), and Indonesia (1.4 million bushels).

USDA wheat export inspections edged above last week’s totals, with 18.4 million bushels for the week ending Sept. 21, compared with 17.2 million bushels a week prior. Unlike corn and soybeans, wheat export inspections landed on the high end of the average trade guess, which was 12 million to 20 million bushels. It’s also nearly half the volume from this week a year ago (33.1 million bushels). Total year-to-date inspections continue to lag behind 2016 totals, with 339 million bushels so far this year versus 348 million bushels last year.

Bangladesh (3.49 million bushels), Indonesia (3.20 million bushels), Yemen (1.78 million bushels) and Japan (1.23 million bushels) were among the top destinations for the week ending Sept. 21.

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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