Old-crop corn and wheat export sales were better than expected and up considerably from the previous week, while soybean export sales were down from a week ago for both crop years, the USDA weekly export sales report said on Thursday.
Corn exports of 34.2 million bushels for old-crop were up 48% from the prior week with Japan, Mexico and Colombia the leading buyers. New-crop business of 244,094 bushels was at the low-end of trade forecasts, with unknown destinations and Trinidad the buyers.
Wheat sales of 14.6 million bushels for old crop were up sharply from the previous week, while new-crop's nearly 4.7 million matched the trade's view. The current wheat crop year is winding down and ends May 31.
Old-crop soybean sales of nearly 3.8 million were down 67% from the prior week but within forecasts. China, Mexico, and Japan were the leading buyers. New-crop business of nearly 300,000 bushels was down from a week earlier and short of forecasts, with Japan the sole buyer.
"The results for wheat may be the most positive. The 14.6 million bushels of old crop business was the best in six weeks, and improves the odds that USDA's lowered expectations for the 2014 crop will be met," said Bryce Knorr, Farm Futures senior grain analyst. "Both sales and shipments are running above the rate forecast by USDA for the rest of the marketing year ending May 31."
Chicago grain and soybean futures barely moved after the report and in the final minutes of the overnight session. Corn futures were about 1 cent per bushel higher, soybeans were up nearly 5 cents, and soft red winter wheat up 3-1/2 cents.
"New-crop corn and soybean business is also lower than normal, though harvest is still five months or more away. End users simply expect prices to be lower later this summer," said Knorr.
Related: See the most recent daily export sales data reported by USDA
Soymeal sales of 107,400 metric tons for the 2014-15 crop were down 18% from the previous week but matched forecasts, with Venezuela, Thailand, and the Dominican Republic the top buyers. Net sales of 22,800 metric tons of 2015/2016 supplies were led by El Salvador and Ecuador.
Sorghum sales of nearly 3.3 million bushels for the 2014-15 crop went to China, while the 22.8 million in 2015/2016 business went to unknown destinations. China cancelled nearly 2 million bushels of new-crop business.
"China continues to buy sorghum from the U.S. as an alternative to corn. However, China did cancel a new crop shipment. If that's a one-off, it's no problem. But if it's an indication that government policies towards allowing imports of minor feed grains may change, it could be troublesome," Knorr said.
More corn, soy, wheat and sorghum export data on next pages >>