Farm Progress

It’s still a mixed bag early into the 2017/18 marketing year.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

September 18, 2017

7 Slides

Weekly grain export inspections for the week ending Sept. 14 showcased a mixed bag of results. Soybeans are generally ahead of 2016 totals but lagged behind the average trade guess for the week. Meantime, corn and wheat are dragging their feet compared to last year.

USDA corn export inspections totaled 26.6 million bushels – identical to the week prior. However, the average trade guess came in between 31 million and 43 million bushels. Plus, the year-to-date totals for 2017/18 stand at only 53 million bushels, compared to 115 million bushels for 2016/17. Granted, it’s a small sample size (the marketing year started Sept. 1) – but export inspections are undeniably off to a slow start. 

For the week ending Sept. 14, top destinations for corn export inspections included Mexico (11.73 million bushels), Peru (4.47 million bushels), Colombia (3.54 million bushels), Japan (2.84 million bushels) and Costa Rica (1.19 million bushels). 

Soybean export inspections fell below the trade estimate of 36 million to 47 million bushels, at only 34.1 million bushels. However, export inspections have started the 2017/18 marketing year with a fairly strong start, with 75 million bushels over a two-week stretch. That’s 5 million bushels above year-over-year totals for 2016/17 and even higher than the five-year average. Typically, sales decline through September before picking up sharply from October through December. 

China picked up around three quarters of all exports for the week ending Sept. 14, with 25.5 million total bushels. Other top destinations included Pakistan (2.5 million bushels), Bangladesh (2.0 million bushels) and Mexico (1.3 million bushels).

USDA wheat export inspections ended up on the high end of the average trade guess, at 17.1 million bushels. That’s lower than this week last year, which tallied 21.1 million bushels. Even so, the 2017/18 marketing year (which begins June 1 for wheat) has stayed ahead of 2016/17, with 321 million bushels versus 315 million bushels a year ago. That said, this marks the third consecutive week that export inspections have dragged below 2016/17 and the five-year average.

Top destinations were scattered across the globe and included the Philippines (5.12 million bushels), Mexico (2.28 million bushels), Nigeria (2.20 million bushels), Guatemala (1.78 million bushels), Yemen (1.69 million bushels), Kenya (1.51 million bushels) and Italy (1.14 million bushels).

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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