Japan is normally the biggest buyer of U.S. corn, but that doesn’t mean much in today’s competitive market for feedgrains. Total U.S. exports to Japan are off 20%, one reason why new sales continue to struggle.
The latest weekly total published by USDA today came in at just 13.9 million bushels, only slightly above last week’s disappointing total and below both trade guesses and the weekly rate forecast by the government for the rest of the marketing year. If that trend doesn’t change it means USDA could be right with its very low estimate of 2011 crop exports, which currently stands at only 1.6 billion bushels.
A good book of early business is still supporting shipments, which are running only slightly behind the average pace. But an influx of corn out of the Black Sea and South America, along with cheap feed wheat, is keeping buyers from aggressively seeking U.S. corn despite the November break in prices.
Soybean sales also came in below trade guesses, with the total for the week at 18 million bushels. China was the leading buyer, but much of its deals were switched from those originally reported as going to unknown destinations, holding down the net new bookings. Shipments as expected remain very robust at almost 47 million, but overall business is down dramatically from the last couple of years.
Wheat sales weren’t spectacular at 18.5 million bushels, but that tally beat both trade guesses and the weekly rate forecast by USDA for the rest of the marketing year that ends May 31. Smaller Asian buyers, including the Philippines and Thailand, were the leading buyers.
For the complete export report, click here.