Everybody loves a bargain, especially end users of corn who paid high prices in the wake of the historic 2012 drought. A year later, the crop is abundant, prices are dramatically lower, and buyers don't need much convincing to load up their shopping carts.
Net new bookings of corn totaled 67.7 million bushels in the latest week, more than tripling the rate forecast by USDA for the marketing year. Of course, that estimate from the government was made back in September, increasing potential for the agency to up its forecast of sales in Friday's monthly production, supply and demand report.
Already, total sales and shipments of 2013 corn are 72% of USDA's September total, twice the normal pace. Leading buyers reported today were Japan, unknown destinations, South Korea, China and Mexico.
Corn shipments are only getting started after exporters focused on soybeans earlier. Still, weekly shipments of 28 million are also beating the rate forecast by the government.
Shippers are still moving the big soybean book in place, loading out 79.4 million bushels in the latest week. New sales are starting to slow a little, however, with the total from the latest week coming in at 37.4 million bushels. That's still a healthy number. Total commitments have hit 89% of USDA's September forecast, also increasing potential for the agency to raise its sales forecast on Friday.
China, of course, was the leading buyer, accounting for more than the total sold because purchases previously listed as "unknown destinations" were switched. China also was the destination for 78% of the soybeans shipped in the latest week. USDA also announced the sale of another 9.2 million bushels to China this morning, under its daily reporting system for large purchases.
Wheat was the only laggard, with sales of 15.7 million bushels. The total was in line with trade guesses but below the weekly rate forecast by USDA for the rest of the marketing year. Shipments were also slow at 11.5 million bushels but both total commitments and shipments are running at a higher rate than average for the first five months of the marketing year.