The latest batch of USDA grain export data, out Thursday morning and covering the week through March 24, didn’t have a lot of bullish data for traders to digest as they awaited the agency’s Prospective Plantings report to release later in the day. Soybean sales were the lone bright spot, moving 11% ahead of the prior four-week average and reaching the higher end of analyst estimates. Meantime, old crop corn and wheat sales each saw moderate weekly declines, while sorghum spilled to a new marketing-year low.
Old crop corn exports fell 35% lower from the prior week, to 25.1 million bushels. New crop sales added another 11.3 million bushels, for a total of 36.4 million bushels. That was toward the lower end of trade guesses, which ranged between 23.6 million and 55.1 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2021/22 marketing year are close but still slightly behind last year’s pace, with 1.267 billion bushels.
Corn export shipments fared better, trending 24% above the prior four-week average to reach 74.1 million bushels. China was the No. 1 destination, with 18.0, and Japan was close behind at 17.0 million bushels. Mexico, Colombia and Canada rounded out the top five.
Sorghum export sales disappointed with a marketing-year low of nearly 638,000 bushels in net reductions. In stark contrast, export shipments of sorghum climbed to a marketing-year high of 13.4 million bushels. Cumulative export sales for the 2021/22 marketing year are now just ahead of last year’s pace, with 151.2 million bushels.
Old crop soybean sales shifted noticeably higher week-over-week and stayed 11% above the prior four-week average, with 48.0 million bushels. New crop sales bumped up the total by another 2.0 million bushels, for a grand tally of 50.0 million bushels. That was toward the higher end of trade estimates, which ranged between 14.7 million and 69.8 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2021/22 marketing year are still more than 400 million bushels below last year’s pace, with 1.600 billion bushels.
Soybean export shipments improved 22% week-over-week but slipped 6% below the prior four-week average, with 24.6 million bushels. China accounted for nearly half of that total, with 12.2 million bushels. Vietnam, Mexico, Egypt and the Netherlands filled out the top five.
Old crop wheat export sales fell 58% below the prior four-week average to 3.5 million bushels. New crop sales added another 3.0 million bushels for a total of 6.5 million bushels. That was below the entire range of trade guesses, which came in between 7.3 million and 29.4 million bushels. Cumulative totals for the 2021/22 marketing year remain moderately behind last year’s pace, with 569.4 million bushels.
Wheat export shipments were mostly steady after drifting 5% lower week-over-week but inching 2% above the prior four-week average to 12.8 million bushels. Mexico was the No. 1 destination, with 4.2 million bushels. Japan, the Philippines, Colombia and Nigeria rounded out the top five.
Click here for more from USDA’s latest report, covering March 18 through March 24.