Export sales of old-crop U.S. corn fell 83% this past week to 6.35 million bushels largely due to cancellations, which included China backing out on nearly 8.3 million, to put early pressure on Chicago futures, which dropped about 5 cents after the USDA report.
Despite the decline, old-crop corn export sales are now at 99% of USDA's forecasted amount, while old-crop soybeans sales have surpassed USDA's current forecast and wheat sales are at 99%.
Cancellations of old-crop corn totaled a little more than 15 million bushels. While net old-crop corn sales missed trade estimates by a wide margin, new-crop sales of 4.76 million were about as expected.
In its daily export reporting, USDA on Thursday said 140,000 tonnes of soybeans were sold to unknown destinations during the 2014-2015 crop year, which begins Sept. 1.
Soybean export sales for the current crop year were up a net 1.5 million bushels this week, an improvement from the previous week's negative number, to match trade estimates. New-crop sales of 500,000 bushels missed expectations by a large margin. The old-crop business was led by Japan and Mexico but had three cancellations including a small 7,348-bushel deal by China.
"We've already shipped out 1.548 billion bushels of soybeans, just 32 million less than USDA forecasts for the entire marketing year," said Bryce Knorr, Farm Futures senior grain analyst. "That means most of the 92 million bushels of outstanding sales on the books must be cancelled or rolled to 2014 delivery. That's not an impossibility, but likely will sustain relatively high prices to encourage the shift as well as imports from South America," he said.
Old-crop soymeal sales of 75,000 tonnes were down 47% from the prior week, but in line with trade forecasts, with Mexico, Egypt and Canada the leading buyers. The new-crop business of 62,200 tonnes matched trade estimates.
U.S. soybean and soymeal export sales typically slow now as global buyers turn to South America, which is harvesting.
Weekly old-crop wheat sales at 11.8 million bushels topped trade estimates and were up 49% from the previous week with Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand leading buyers. New-crop business at 4.6 million was slightly less than expected, with Mexico and unknown destinations the leading buyers.