Export data out this morning was decidedly mixed, providing no bullish silver bullet to lift the market out of its week-long funk. Indeed, the theme for the results were one step forward, two steps back.
Corn sales, for example, beat expectations at 36.1 million bushels, with Japan, Mexico and “unknown destinations” leading the tally sheet. But shipments were again disappointing, as tipped by Monday's inspections data, coming in at just 20 million bushels, almost half the rate needed every week for the rest of the marketing year to meet USDA's forecast.
Perhaps even more disappointing for bulls was the absence of China from the highlight reel. While rumors swirled earlier this month of purchases, the closest thing to a confirmation was the sale to unknown destinations announced last week under USDA's daily reporting system for large purchases. Instead, China was reportedly buying cheaper feed wheat from Australia.
For soybeans the trends were similar. Net new bookings fell below 20 million bushels, with Chinese purchases slowing down. Shipments were better at 22.4 million bushels, twice the rate forecast by USDA. But movement to China accounted for only half the deals.
Wheat sales of just under 20 million bushels showed some improvement, but shipments of a similar amount slipped behind the pace needed to reach USDA's forecast for the marketing year ending May 31. Most buyers are taking only a cargo or two, and only one load was bought and shipped into the Middle East. For now, at least, the U.S. remains mostly shut out of that key market, with Argentine grain making inroads into North Africa. Business from Canada is also picking up, with plenty of wheat still available from the Black Sea as well.
For the complete export report, click here.