Another week, another report of major Chinese buying of corn, soybeans and wheat from the U.S.
While totals were again impressive, big sales of 2013 crop crops weren't much of a surprise to the trade. Many of the deals were either rumored or officially confirmed by USDA previously under its daily reporting system for large purchases.
Nonetheless, the latest data continues to support hopes for a significant rebound in sales after production was hurt by bad weather last year.
Corn bookings were the most impressive, reaching 68.7 million bushels, including 62.6 million bushels of new crop business. USDA already reported most of the sales, including a huge deal to China for 47.25 million bushels. As a result, corn prices remained under light session pressure as traders broke ahead of the 8:30 pit open.
China was also the leading buyer of U.S. wheat, taking 14.4 million bushels of the 36.6 million bushel total. Most of that business involved a deal for soft red winter wheat previously reported, as China boosts imports following problems with its crop that appear to be worse than earlier indications. China was looking for Australian wheat this week, and may also be taking more U.S. originations. Wheat traders were anxiously waiting for news of Egypt's second snap tender of the season. Stockpiles are shrinking in that troubled country, which has had trouble financing deals due to the turmoil.
Old crop soybean sales were positive last week, after net cancellations the previous period, with total 2012 and 2013 sales of 25.8 million bushels in line with trade guesses. Shipments remains slow, as the market rations dwindling supplies of old crop inventories. China and "unknown destinations" accounted for most of the new crop deals, with Mexico involved with most of the old crop.