Corn exports finally showed flickers of life at the end of November, after a very slow start to the month. USDA’s latest export sales report showed net new bookings doubled in the latest week to almost 28 million bushels, well above both trade estimates and USDA’s forecast for the marketing year. Shipments were a marketing year high, 40.8 million bushels.
Mexico was the leading buyer, with China a close second and Japan third. Japan, normally the biggest U.S. buyer, is taking corn and feed wheat from other suppliers this year, one reason for the slow level of business seen lately. China’s sales were mostly switched from unknown destinations announced earlier. But the fact the deals went through despite news of a big increase in production there is encouraging.
Soybean sales also beat expectations at 29.2 million bushels, with China as usual taking most of the sales and shipments. A strong strike of big shipment weeks has the total for the year catching up, but it’s still behind the normal pace, one reason why USDA could lower its forecast for the marketing year.
Wheat sales were a little slow this week, dropping to 15.7 million bushels. That’s still above the rate forecast by USDA for the marketing year, though shipments fell below that benchmark. Most customers continue to take only single loads, with Nigeria again the leading customer. Both sales and shipments are running better than the pace forecast by USDA, which could help the agency increase its estimate of marketing year business, if not in Friday’s report, then in January.
For the complete export report, click here.