Corn Ponders Chinese Future

Corn Ponders Chinese Future

Sales show up for last week, but is any new business getting done?

The last time corn price tanked during the summer, China used the break as a big buying opportunity. With prices down sharply again, traders are wondering whether the world’s largest country is again stepping into the market.

So far, there’s no confirmation of any business, and some traders are saying none has taken place, either. China did pick up 4.8 million bushels last week, according to USDA’s summary released this morning, a purchased switched from unknown destinations that was a little bigger than a similar sale reported Sept. 12 under the agency’s daily reporting system for large purchases.

Ideas China was in the market helped futures bounce off chart lows late last week, but that support was taken out overnight. And so far, there’s been no confirmation of any new deals, one reason why prices are again finding little buying interest today.

Net new bookings for corn totaled 23.6 million bushels in the latest week, a little below trade guesses but in line with the weekly rate forecast by USDA for the marketing year. Shipments remain slow, however, because a tight old crop pipeline has not yet been refilled by harvest that’s only beginning to get underway.

China also was the leading soybean buyer, with shipments again weak despite decent overall sales. USDA announced another purchase by China this morning under the daily reporting system, the second this week, for 6.6 million bushels.

Wheat sales were surprisingly strong at 25 million bushels, despite strong competition from around the world. Nigeria was the big buyer, taking 30% of the total, with the rest of the list dominated by Asia buyers. Cheap wheat out of the Black Sea continues to dominate tenders into the Middle East. Though there’s some concern emerging out of Ukraine due to dry weather for seeding next year’s crop, Bangladesh bought grain from that new exporter today, amid speculation about eventual export controls.

Egypt once again turned to Russian wheat, filling its latest snap tender today for 8.8 million bushels.

For the complete export report, click here.

Weekly Export Sales (million bushels)

AS OF WEEK ENDING

9/15/11

Actual

Last Week

Trade Est.

USDA F'cast

Export Ship-ments

USDA F'cast

% of USDA Commit.

Ave.

% of USDA Ship-ments

Ave.

Wheat

       25.0

    15.2

    17.5

     14.3

32.6

19.2

49%

44%

33%

29%

Corn

       23.6

    46.0

    26.6

     23.1

24.7

34.5

36%

24%

3%

4%

Soybeans

       14.9

    12.9

    16.5

     15.3

8.6

29.5

39%

27%

2%

2%

Source: USDA, Reuters

TAGS: USDA
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