China has long been the big dog in the soybean market, so it's old news when the world's largest importer goes shopping for soy. But in the "man bites dog" department, China is making waves in the corn and wheat trade too, recording significant buys this summer.
USDA's weekly export sales report out this morning showed total new bookings of wheat totaled 54.1 million bushels in the latest period. More than two-thirds of that totaled was a previously reported deal to China for 37.5 million bushels of soft red winter wheat. Year-date-sales of SRW for the first month of the marketing year are the best since 1989-90, in the waning days of the Former Soviet Union. Now, instead of importing grain, Russia and its former satellites are big competitors shipping wheat out of the Black Sea.
China's wheat imports are rising after bad weather there hurt the 2013 crop. With less wheat to feed China is also boosting corn imports. USDA reported several big sales of new crop to China recently, and trade sources had the country buying up to 40 million bushels more this week. Most of that business has yet to be officially confirmed, though USDA separately announced the sale of another 4.725 million bushels of new crop corn to China this morning under its daily reporting system for large purchases.
Total weekly new crop corn sales totaled 25.9 million bushels, and there was some good old crop business too, despite very tight 2012 inventories. Most of the buyers who scooped up 15.4 million bushels of 2012 corn were regular customers, including Japan and Mexico. South Korea showed up as a buyer only of optional origin corn, as it tries to diversify its purchases not only from different supplies but by booking for feed wheat as well.
Sales of old crop soybeans continue to wind down amid scarce 2012 inventory, with cancellations bigger than new purchases in the latest week. Shipments of just 2.8 million bushels were a marketing low, falling below the small rate forecast by USDA for the final two months of the marketing year. New crop sales continue to hum along, with China taking the bulk of the 15.1 million bushels booked last week. USDA also announced the sale of 4.4 million bushels more new crop soybeans to unknown destinations today under its daily reporting program.