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Export sales: Grain volume trends lower

Corn, soybeans and wheat all face week-over-week declines.

Ben Potter

December 23, 2021

2 Min Read
Container ship in the North Sea
Getty/iStockphoto

The latest set of export sales data from USDA, out Thursday morning and covering the week through December 16, was a bit disappointing after corn, soybean and wheat volume all tumbled lower week-over-week. Old-crop soybean sales faded 38% lower, with corn down 50% and wheat tracking 35% below the prior week’s tally. Grain prices were little changed following the report, however.

Corn saw old-crop sales reach 38.7 million bushels, with new-crop sales adding 5.2 million bushels for a total of 43.9 million bushels. That put sales 29% below the prior four-week average, but totals still came in near the middle of trade guesses, which ranged between 28.5 million and 57.1 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2021/22 marketing year are slightly behind last year’s pace after reaching 501.8 million bushels.

Corn export shipments tilted 14% above the prior four-week average to 43.4 million bushels. Mexico was the No. 1 destination, with 13.8 million bushels. China, Japan, Canada and South Korea rounded out the top five.

Sorghum export sales climbed to a marketing-year high of 16.6 million bushels, with that grain largely bound for China and unknown destinations. Cumulative totals for the 2021/22 marketing year are still moderately lagging behind last year’s pace, with 53.7 million bushels. Sorghum export shipments also reached a marketing-year high, with 12.4 million bushels.

Soybean export sales stumbled 42% below the prior four-week average, with 29.9 million bushels. Analysts were generally expecting a bigger haul, with trade guesses ranging between 27.6 million and 72.8 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2021/22 marketing year are struggling to match last year’s pace but did cross the 1-billion benchmark after reaching 1.002 billion bushels.

Soybean export shipments fared much better but still fell 17% below the prior four-week average, with 68.1 million bushels. China accounted for more than half of that total, with 38.6 million bushels. Egypt, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey filled out the top five.

Old crop wheat export sales were down 35% from a week ago but held 11% above the prior four-week average, at 15.6 million bushels. New crop sales chipped in another 1.2 million bushels, for a total of 16.8 million bushels. That was toward the higher end of trade estimates, which ranged between 7.3 million and 21.1 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2021/22 marketing year remain moderately behind last year’s pace, with 385.9 million bushels.

Wheat export shipments slumped 28% below the prior four-week average, with 7.0 million bushels. Mexico was the No. 1 destination, with 2.5 million bushels. South Korea, Nigeria, Italy and the Dominican Republic rounded out the top five.

Click here for more highlights and insights from the latest USDA report, covering December 10 to December 16.

About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings more than 14 years 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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