Wheat Sales Top Export News

Soybean business continues weak as Chinese buying remains sparse.

Export business in the last full week of August was generally subdued, as marketing years for corn and soybeans come to a close. But wheat business was good, with buyers out of the Middle East and African leading the list of sales and shipments.

Sales for the week totaled16 million bushels, with shipments at 24.1 million, well above estimates and the weekly rates currently forecast by USDA.

Wheat exports for the year continue to lead year-ago levels, thanks to strong end-user buying to rebuild supplies depleted by the run to all-time record highs last winter. Hard red winter wheat sales and shipments lead the pack, because supplies of milling quality grain remain tight. Sales and shipments are running well above normal, suggesting USDA may raise its estimate of exports for the marketing year at some point.

While wheat business picked up, corn and soybean sales are a bit sluggish. China was again only a light buyer of U.S. soybeans, taking less than 5 million bushels. Total old and new crop sales were 10.3 million bushels.

The weak tone to old crop business raises the potential for USDA to lower its estimate of 2007 crop exports in next Friday's monthly supply and demand report. Sales of 2008 soybeans are off to their best start in more than 20 years, though some of the total may be inflated due to large, mostly ceremonial deals signed earlier with Chinese trade delegations.

Corn sales totaled 23.2 million bushels old and new. Shipments remain well below the total forecast by USDA for the marketing year, but donations, which are not counted, may close the gap. Still, there's a chance the government will lower its forecast of total sales for the marketing year ended Sept. 1, though it may way until official Census data is available before resolving the issue. New crop sales for 2008 are below last year's level, but remain strong compared to historical averages.

Weekly Export Sales (million bushels)

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS OF WEEK ENDING

8/28/08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actual

Est.

Last Week

USDA F'cast

Export Ship-ments

USDA F'cast

% of USDA Commit.

Ave.

% of USDA Ship-ments

Ave.

Wheat

    16.0

    7.4

    14.4

    10.8

24.1

17.3

48%

38%

20%

22%

Corn

    23.2

  23.6

    33.3

   (36.5)

45.2

76.1

102%

103%

97%

98%

Soybeans

    10.3

  13.8

      5.3

     (6.4)

21.5

27.5

101%

103%

98%

101%

Source: USDA, Reuters

TAGS: USDA Soybean
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