Soybean futures looked ready to roll over this morning, but the market got a shot in the arm from the latest export numbers. A strong week of sales and shipments helped beans back off their lows, taking March back towards the key trendline it punctured overnight. That resistance, drawn off November and January lows, comes in around $12.745 today, with the 200-day moving average at $12.765.
Total new bookings for the week came in at 61.5 million bushels, including 25.8 million of old crop. Some traders believe the tide was turning toward South America, but Chinese buyers apparently didn't get that memo. They picked up another 10.9 million bushels of 2013 beans and 31.4 million bushels for 2014 crop delivery.
The strong pace keeps total sales and shipments at record levels, with total commitments already 4% above USDA's forecast for the entire marketing year. USDA later this morning announced the sale of another 4.6 million bushels of new crop soybeans to China, under its daily reporting system for large purchases.
Corn business also topped trade expectations, which were modest at best. Net new bookings of 27.3 million bushels included multiple loads taken by Egypt, Taiwan, Japan and Mexico. China also bought 3 million bushels, despite its ongoing dispute over rejection of a non-approved GMO trait. USDA said 2.5 million bushels rejected by China were redirected to South Korea. The government later announced more business under its daily reporting system, including 5.9 million bushels to Spain, 3.9 million to Japan and 4.7 million to Egypt.
Excluding today's new sales, year-to-date commitments are 1.185 billion bushels, the highest level for this week since 2008.
Wheat sales were the only disappointment in the weekly totals, though at 15.5 million bushels they were better than last week. The trade was looking for a little more on average, though the business beat the rate needed to reach USDA forecast for the marketing year ending May 31. Brazil continues to be a big buyers, though a decrease was noted for China, which was a big buyer of Australian wheat this week.