Soybean Shipments Finally Surge, New Sales Strong

Corn loadings remain slow due to harvest delays.

Soybean shipments got off to a slow start in the 2008 marketing year, but no more. The pace picked up steam again this week, with almost 40 million bushels shipped out according to Thursday's weekly export sales report from USDA.

Relatively tight stocks and harvest delays kept the export pipeline dry early in the season, despite strong forward contracting by foreign buyers last spring and summer as prices ran to record highs. The shipment spigot has opened now that harvest is past the halfway point, with sales also strong. The government reported 28.8 million bushels of new business.

China, the world's largest importer, continues to lead the list of buyers, despite a big harvest of the domestic crop there. U.S. sales should continue strong for the next couple of weeks, thanks to sales announced under USDA's daily reporting system and a move by the Chinese government to rebuild reserves depleted by its attempt to control inflation in the run up to the Olympics during the summer.

Corn sales came in a little better than expected at 31.1 million bushels, which also beat the rate needed weekly to meet USDA's current forecast for the marketing year. Shipments, however, remain slow due to tough financial conditions and the slow pace of the corn harvest. Moreover, most of the sales are going to buyers in this hemisphere, with big Asian customers taking a break. They may be sniffing around for supplies of local origin, with smaller shipments available from India. In addition, a huge Chinese crop could make some more corn available in the region.

Wheat sales continue to slow after a torrid start to the export season as end users around the world filled shelves depleted during the big surge in prices last spring. Sales at 14.2 million bushels remain well above the weekly rate forecast by USDA, and shipments also were good. Still, as with corn, most of the next sales were to buyers from this hemisphere, due to hot competition into the Middle East.

 

Weekly Export Sales (million bushels)

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS OF WEEK ENDING

10/16/08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actual

Est.

Last Week

USDA F'cast

Export Ship-ments

USDA F'cast

% of USDA Commit.

Ave.

% of USDA Ship-ments

Ave.

Wheat

    14.2

  16.5

    16.0

      6.2

19.2

9.9

66%

51%

46%

34%

Corn

    31.1

  25.6

    38.4

    30.2

29.7

39.4

30%

27%

10%

10%

Soybeans

    28.8

  24.8

    37.8

    11.1

39.7

18.5

42%

36%

5%

6%

Source: USDA, Reuters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TAGS: USDA
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