Another strong week of corn export business has confirmed USDA's decision to raise its forecast for the 2013 crop in its Feb. 10 supply and demand report.
The agency reported 50 million bushels of old corn crop sales in the week ending Feb. 6, with another 2.8 million bushels of 2014 business done. Year-to-date sales and shipments already total 1.36 billion bushels, 85% of the government's forecast for the entire marketing year. USDA raised that projection by 150 million bushels in Monday's monthly update. Commitments are off to their best start since the 2007-2008 marketing year, boosted by low prices and carryover demand caused by the 2012 drought.
While sales for China dropped by 9 million bushels due to the controversy over an unapproved GMO trait, rejected loads still have no problem finding a home, with another cargo shifted to South Korea. That country was one of the leading acknowledged destinations, along with Columbia, Mexico and Japan.
Wheat sales were also good at 23 million bushels, mostly old crop, in line with trade guesses and easily beating the rate needed the rest of the marketing year to meet USDA's 2013 crop forecast. Japan remains an aggressive buyer, increasing the size of its regular weekly tenders the past couple of weeks to take advantage of lower prices. That's a positive sign that hints at improving prospects for a long-term bottom.
The news was less than encourage for soybeans. Weekly sales were just 6.4 million bushels of old crop and 4.5 million new. China as usual was the leading buyer, but most of its 11.8 million bushels came from deals previously allocated to unknown destinations. No new outright cancellations were included in the report, which helped pull prices off lows after the numbers came out.
USDA reported the cancellation of 10 million bushels Wednesday under its daily reporting system for large purchases, confirming earlier rumors and help triggering a bearish reversal lower. Still, total commitments already are 5% above USDA's projection for the entire marketing year.