Old-crop corn export sales of 25.8 million bushels were down from the previous week while new-crop business was a net reduction of nearly 264,000 bushels due to cancellations by China, USDA said on Friday.
USDA's weekly export sales report, delayed a day because of Monday's holiday, showed old-crop soybean sales at 11.8 million bushels, about double the prior week's and topped trade estimates in wire reports. New-crop sales of about 2.0 million were down from the prior week and under forecasts.
Old-crop wheat sales of 1.56 million bushels were down from the prior week but within trade forecasts and led by Guatemala, the Philippines and El Salvador. New-crop business of 9.3 million was nearly double the previous week's but matched forecasts and led by Taiwan, Mexico and Japan. The new-crop year begins June 1.
Chicago grain and soybean futures showed little reaction to the report in the closing minutes of the overnight session. Corn for July was up 2-1/2 cents a bushel, July soybeans were up ¼ cent. In wheat, Chicago's July SRW wheat was down 2-3/4 and Kansas City's HRW for July was off 2-1/4.
Related: See the most recent daily export sales data reported by USDA
"Wheat export sales as expected were mostly for new crop, with only one full week of the 2014 marketing year left to report. Shipments are improving as the May 31 cutoff nears, but don't look like they'll be enough to reach USDA's target of 860 million bushels," said Bryce Knorr, Farm Futures senior grain analyst. "Total shipments are only 805 million bushels with inspections at 816 million."
Old-crop corn sales were led by Japan, Saudi Arabia and Mexico, while new-crop sales to Costa Rica and unknown destinations were more than offset by China's cancellations for a net reduction.
"Corn shipments are doing better recently, improving odds total sales of 2014 will meet USDA's forecast. China's new crop cancellation keeps sales of 2015 at five-year lows," said Knorr.
USDA weekly export sales data table on page 2 >>
Old-crop soybean sales were led by China, the Netherlands, and Germany. New-crop business was led by Japan and unknown destinations.
"New-crop soybean sales are off to a slow start, and that's very troubling, because there's a strong correlation between preseason sales and total exports. The soybean selling season is compressed, because buyers know there's another crop coming on in South America," said Knorr.
USDA reported soymeal export sales of 123,700 metric tons for the 2014/2015 crop, up from the previous week and within forecasts. Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela were the top buyers. New-crop business of 120,300 tons was up from the previous week's net reduction with Thailand and the Dominican Republic the top buyers.
Sorghum sales of nearly 3.0 million bushels for 2014/2015 went to China. The 4.25 million in 2015/2016 business also went to China.
"Sorghum remains the bright spot, thanks to China curious import policy," said Knorr. "China cancelled both old and new crop corn purchases done previously, booking sorghum instead: 6.35 million old and 4.25 million new. All 4.4 million bushels shipped last week were bound for China, which continues to allow sorghum imports despite rumblings to the contrary."