Wheat Exports Falter

Egypt again bypasses U.S. wheat, as weekly sales sputter.

After strong first quarter, sales of U.S. wheat are showing signs of cooling off. Weekly export sales reported Thursday came in at just 10.8 million bushels, less than half the previous week's total. And Egypt once again snubbed U.S. wheat in favor of Russian wheat, as price competition for soft wheat remains intense.

Despite the setbacks, overall commitments for the 2008-2009 marketing year remain strong. So far some 59% of USDA's export forecast for the marketing year has been sold or shipped, thanks to strong early season sales. Importers around the world raced to buy wheat as soon as it was available this summer, trying to restock inventories depleted to record low levels during the run to all-time high prices last winter.

Meanwhile, soybean sales are beginning to pick up ahead of harvest. Weekly sales totaled 22.5 million bushels, in line with trade estimates and above USDA's forecast rate for the marketing year. In addition, USDA announced to big sales to China these week that will be counted in next week's totals. However, shipments remain slow due to tight old crop supplies, with just 3.9 million bushels exported.

Strong summer sales of corn are keeping total commitments for the year ahead of average, but corn sales continue to struggle. USDA reported just 21.6 million bushels of new business, well behind the forecast rate, though the total exceeded trade guesses and last week's paltry levels. Importers appear to be relying on cheap feed wheat and local grain supplies until more is known about the size of the 2008 crop.

Weekly Export Sales (million bushels)

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS OF WEEK ENDING

9/18/08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actual

Est.

Last Week

USDA F'cast

Export Ship-ments

USDA F'cast

% of USDA Commit.

Ave.

% of USDA Ship-ments

Ave.

Wheat

    10.8

  18.4

    23.2

      7.3

24.1

15.4

59%

42%

36%

26%

Corn

    21.6

  15.8

    12.0

    31.8

27.0

45.8

24%

19%

2%

3%

Soybeans

    22.5

  22.1

    15.1

    14.9

3.9

20.8

34%

25%

1%

1%

Source: USDA, Reuters

 

 

TAGS: USDA
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