U.S. new crop soybean export sales remain at record levels, and more than half the business forecast by USDA for 2013-2014 is already on the books, even though the marketing period doesn't officially begin until Sept. 1. Sales exceeded the weekly rate USDA forecasts again this week at 34 million bushels. The trade was looking for even more, however, so the report squelched an attempt to turn the market around before the morning break in Chicago.
Sales old crop soybeans were expected to be minimal. But even though only 800,000 bushels of 2012-2013 deals were done, another 5.4 million bushels were shipped out of the country in the week ending Aug. 15. With old crop inventories squeaky tight, finding any beans is becoming harder. That caused end users to bull spread the market again, buying front end September, which gained more on Wednesday's rally and slipped less in the electronic only trade Thursday.
Export shipments for the next two weeks could determine just how tight carryout is when the 2012 marketing year ends Aug. 31. Actual exports may be a less than indicated by these weekly reports from USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service. USDA's supply and demand reports ultimately use data gathered by the Census Bureau, whose totals are a little lower.
Census corn exports are running above the USDA data, which could keep total shipments at or above USDA's forecast for the marketing year. Another 2.3 million bushels of old crop deals were put on the books in the latest week, while 6.9 million left the country. New crop sales of 17.1 million bushels were below trade guesses, with regular customers Japan and Mexico accounting for most of the business. Total new crop sales are running at the best preseason level since the 1995-1996 crop year.
Wheat sales of 18.3 million bushels were little changed from last week, meeting trade guesses and beating the weekly rate forecast by USDA for the rest of the marketing year. Sales and shipments so far have the U.S. on track to do better than the government forecasts, but some of this brisk business may be front-loaded sales. China was a big buyer of soft red winter wheat earlier in the summer. It took another load in the latest week, but overall purchases have tapered off.
Brazil is still buying U.S. hard red winter wheat, taking almost 7 million bushels in the latest week. That's helped support basis levels on the Plains, as the South American country deals with frost damage to its crop and lack of supplies from neighboring Argentina.