Soybean futures were looking jittery overnight, but the nervousness didn't last long. January futures reversed higher after USDA reported another big week of export business.
Total old and new crop business in the latest week hit 56 million bushels, well above trade guesses. The old crop total of 40.7 million was also well above the level of deals previously announced by USDA, taking total sales and shipments to record 1.422 billion bushels, a record for this early in the marketing year.
USDA raised its forecast for marketing year exports in Tuesday's December supply and demand update, but today's new deals mean 96% of the new total has already been sold or shipped. Total shipments last week of 62.9 million also are very brisk, keeping cash prices above January futures along the Illinois River, where no soybeans are registered for delivery.
China was the leading buyer of 2013 soybeans taking 50% of the total, while new crop was mostly allocated to China and unknown destinations, which often wind up headed towards China too.
Corn sales were also decent this week with 27.4 million bushels of old crop booked, along with 4.3 million bushels of 2014 delivery. USDA also raised its forecast for corn exports during the 2013 crop year, though the total remains well below levels seen in some of the big years in the past. Mexico and Japan dominated the purchases, but China also took a couple of loads, despite the simmering dispute over unauthorized GMO's and predictions the Chinese crop was even bigger than previously reported.
USDA also announced the sale of another 4.725 million bushels of corn this morning to unknown destinations under its daily reporting system.
Wheat sales improved from last week's disappointing totals as expected, but were still nothing to write home about. USDA reported 13.7 million bushels of 2013 crop sales and another 400,000 allocated to 2014.