Traders knew China bought big quantities of 2013 crop soft red winter wheat recently, with USDA already confirming deals for almost 31 million bushels. But this morning's export sales report had almost as many purchases on the books for other buyers, involving both old and new crop sourcing of all classes.
The buys bought total old and new crop sales for the week to 61.5 million bushels. Old crop accounted for 20.3 million, with customers in Asia and Africa involved in most of the business. China didn't show up on the old crop listing, but by far led the sheet for new crop buyers.
With only six weeks left in the marketing year, some of the old crop deals could wind up getting rolled into the new crop year that starts June 1. Total new crop sales already on the books are the third highest since 1987, which is how far back USDA records go.
Old crop shipments were good at almost 26 million bushels. But that's still short of the rate needed to move every week for the rest of the 2012 marketing year to meet USDA's forecast.
USDA's weekly report was again delayed due to apparent computer snafus, with some details taking as long as 45 minutes to show up on the agency's website.
Old crop corn sales of 15.8 million bushels were a noted improvement from last week, keeping total sales on track to meet USDA's lowered expectations for the marketing year. Exports are expected to fall to their lowest level in the modern era, due to tight supplies caused by the 2012 drought. Japan, which has switched more of its rations to wheat this year, was the leading buyer in the latest week, taking 7.1 million bushels. China didn't show up on the buyers list this week, despite being a fairly regular customer recently to fill in for supplies hurt by wet conditions there over the fall and winter.
New crop sales were light last week, though year-to-date business for the coming crop is the second highest ever for mid-April.
New crop soybeans are also off to a strong start, but more old crop beans were sold in the latest week than new. Total net new bookings of 2012 crop were 13.4 million bushels, and China accounted for only one load or so, as other customers continue to take whatever they can find due to shipping delays out of Brazil. Export shipments fell to 6.7 million bushels, a marketing year low, but still above the weekly rate forecast by USDA for the rest of the marketing year that runs through Aug. 31.