A sharp rise in soymeal exports caught the attention of Chicago traders who bid soybean and soymeal futures higher on Thursday.
Soymeal sales were up 94% from the previous week at nearly 308,000 tonnes.
Export sales of U.S. corn, soybeans and wheat decreased in the latest week, but overall sales remained robust in USDA's weekly report on Thursday, with corn sales matching USDA's annual forecast and soybeans exceeding the forecast
"Soybeans received support on two counts. Though total sales were small, China didn't make any big cancellations, easing the market's ongoing fears about that prospect for rationing," said Bryce Knorr, Farm Futures senior market analyst. "Perhaps more important, soybean meal exports are strong, forcing domestic livestock producers to compete with their foreign counterparts for limited supply."
Soymeal shipments are up 3.2% from last year and total commitments of soybean meal are 7.8% higher, he said.
Soybean net sales were 3.1 million bushels, down from the previous week's 20.1 million, and trade estimates of 20.2 million. China was the leading buyer of old-crop and bought a small amount of new crop.
Export sales of U.S. soybeans typically slow in the spring and summer as global demand shifts to South American soybeans.
Corn and wheat sales were down from the previous week's, with corn's falling just short of trade estimates and wheat's exceeding trade estimates by a small margin.
Corn's net sales at 39.3 million bushels were mostly old crop with Japan, South Korea, and Egypt leading buyers, and included China cancelling 8.7 million bushels. New-crop sales of nearly 1.5 million bushels went to Costa Rica.
Wheat export sales of 23.8 million bushels were about equally split between old and new crop, with Egypt, Nigeria, and Brazil leading buyers of old crop and South Korea and Dominican Republic the leading new-crop buyers.
Soymeal export sales were mostly old crop with Denmark, Mexico, and Guatemala the top buyers.