Nobody expected this week's export sale tally for soybeans from USDA to be anything remotely like last week's big numbers, which were swelled by deals done during the recent Chinese trade mission. Still, net new bookings for the week were good, with China also making some news in the corn market as well.
Total old and new crop soybean sales reached 35.9 million bushels, above trade guesses, while shipments ran at three times the pace forecast by USDA for the rest of the marketing year. China accounted for nearly all the new crop beans purchased, but other buyers took a majority of the old crop. That could be signs of lasting demand at a time when sales usually start to slow down as the South American harvest hits the pipeline. This year, of course, there are fewer South American beans around, which could help U.S. sales recover from a slow start to the marketing year.
Corn sales of 28.1 million bushels were nothing out of the ordinary, but China did show up for 4.8 million bushels. China continues to pick up a load or two almost every week, as corn prices there keep rising despite the record 2011 crop. Government officials are already hinting that production could be down in 2012 due to higher labor and fertilizer costs.
Wheat sales of 18.7 million bushels were on the low end of trade guesses, with shipments a very slow 7.6 million bushels. USDA separately announced the sale of 4.4 million bushels of hard red winter wheat to Iran, which continues to buy large amounts to offset shipments turned back because letters of credit wouldn't clear due to international sanctions. Food sales, of course, are not typically included in those sorts of sanctions, though other trade with Iran has been severely curtailed.
For the complete export report, click here.