After a year of high prices, wheat buyers around the world appear to be ready to refill inventories as harvest in the northern hemisphere advances, helping boost U.S. sales in the latest week.
USDA's weekly report detailed 26.9 million bushels of net new bookings, well above both trade estimates and last week's deals. Moreover, the sales almost doubled the weekly rate forecast by USDA for the new marketing year that began June 1. Total commitments already total 23% of USDA's forecast for the 2013 crop, ahead of the average pace.
A variety of buyers took more than one load, led by Brazil, which accounted for 4.3 million bushels. Brazil has turned to the U.S. for supplies as exports out of Argentina dwindle due to lower production and the government's decision to restrict sales in an attempt to control food inflation. Taiwan, Japan, Nigeria and Peru were also leading buyers.
Japan, usually the top buyer of U.S. wheat, again made the list though it has officially stopped purchasing white wheat off the PNW after a field of GMO wheat was discovered in Oregon. Nonetheless, white wheat deals totaled 3 million bushels last week, though actual shipments were minimal.
New crop soybean sales were also in line with trade guesses, at 16.6 million bushels, with 500,000 of old crop business done as week. In addition, USDA announced the sale of another 6.3 million bushels to unknown destinations this morning, under its daily reporting system for large purchases.
Old crop corn export sales were much better than forecast at 13.3 million bushels, with Japan the leading buyer. Actual shipments were light, however, just under 6 million bushels, half the rate forecast for each week through the end of the marketing year Aug. 31. That suggests end users may be nervous about tightening stocks later in the summer due to a later than normal harvest caused by planting delays.