Futures are softening a bit ahead of the pit open in Chicago, losing some of their momentum from the overnight session after a mostly lackluster export sales tally from USDA.
Corn sales improved during the latest week, but that wasn't hard after last week's dismal showing. Still, net new bookings came in at only 6.6 million bushels. That was below even modest trade guesses and was less than half the rate forecast by USDA for the rest of the marketing year. Shipments were also slow at 16.5 million bushels, less than 60% of the rate forecast by the government.
The USDA highlights sheet noted there are a lot of outstanding optional origin sales to Mexico, which is trying to broaden its buying power by allowing imports from South America.
Wheat sales of 15.1 million bushels were also better than last week, and topped trade guesses as well Still, they too fell behind the rate forecast by last week's monthly crop report, and shipments were a very weak 4.9 million bushels. Both shipments and total commitments are way behind the usual rates for this time of the marketing year, suggesting USDA may still be too high on its forecast, perhaps by up to 100 million bushels unless late season sales pick up. Buyers continue to take relatively modest amounts , with no sense of end user panic seen so far.
Soybean data was a mixed bag. Net new bookings of 19.3 million bushels again showed a relatively modest amount from China, which accounted for just over half the 2012 business. The total was slightly better than last week, but lagged trade expectations. Still, there's a huge backlog of sales already on the books, which is keeping shipments very brisk – they totaled 54 million bushels in the latest week.