USDA lowered its forecast of old crop corn and soybean exports in Wednesday's monthly supply and demand crop projections. Today's weekly export sales report shows why.
Net new bookings of 2012 corn and soybeans weren't quite as bad as some expected. But they remain weak because supply out of the U.S. in dwindling – and alternatives from competitors around the world are not.
Soybean sales of 1.2 million bushels included a handful of buyers taking small amounts. Still, traders expected no new deals, figuring cancellations would wipe out any new purchases. New crop soybean sales were decent at 16.4 million bushels, and the total so far remains at a record level. China was, as usual, the dominant buyer. Soybean meal sales also were strong at 132,200 metric tons. USDA yesterday raised its forecast of 2012 crop crush in part to account for strong meal demand from overseas due to trouble with shipments out of South America.
Old crop corn exports of 3.2 million bushels were in line with trading thinking, with Japan the leading customer. The surprise in the report came from new crop business. It was actually slower than old crop, with only one deal covering 2.7 million bushels to Mexico included. That could be an indication buyers were waiting for this week's USDA report before making new commitments.
Old crop wheat sales were minimal as expected. USDA increased its forecast of 2013 crop sales in Wednesday's report, and the total for the week was 15.4 million bushels. Most of the buyers came from the list of regulars, though Brazil showed up again. That country is sourcing more imports from the U.S. as Argentina limits sales to keep prices low at home, which has sparked protests from farmers there, including a strike set to begin Saturday and run through Wednesday.
NOTE: Wheat % of Shipments and Commitments are for 2012 crop year.