Traders had expected this morning's export sales report from USDA to show soybean business beginning to lag a bit as the U.S. selling season winds down. Nobody told Chinese buyers about that, however, as they continued to book beans hand over fist in the latest week.
Net purchases overall totaled 50.6 million bushels, well above trade guesses. Coupled with brisk shipments of 91.5 million bushels, perhaps the largest on record, the new deals mean 90% of USDA's forecast exports for the marketing year have already been sold or shipped, well before the end of the first quarter of the 2013 crop year.
China as usual, dominated the trade, booking 42.3 million bushels, though 12 million of those were switched from sales to unknown destinations already on the books. Another load was cancelled, the only worry in the trade right now. While Chinese business practices have improved, sellers remember wholesale cancellations that roiled markets in other years.
Corn export news was also supportive, with net new bookings in at 38.7 million bushels, which includes a 1.5 million for the 2014 crop. While the late harvest of the crop caused early shipments to be slow, total commitments are running at 69% of USDA's forecast for the marketing year already, up from 40% on average for this early in the marketing year.
China was also a noted corn buyer, taking 12.7 million bushels, though most of the total was previously reported for unknown destinations. Japan led the market with 15.8 million bushels, though it was still using historically large amounts of feed wheat in rations earlier this fall. China accounted for 45% of the week's corn shipments, as local supplies there are diverted to reserves to maintain prices for farmers.
Japan was the leading buyer for U.S. wheat, taking 6.4 million bushels, with Brazil purchasing another 2.7 million. Soft red winter wheat deals attracted attention this week, with USDA announcing a sale to Egypt Wednesday. Even before that news, total SRW commitments were running 9% over USDA's forecast for the entire marketing year.