China is the big dog in the soybean market, but the buying plans of the world's largest importer are unclear, following disruptions with shipments out of Brazil.
Weekly export sales for the period ending March 14 were reported this morning, and included only two loads to China, with one of them switched from a deal done earlier to Hong Kong. News reports earlier this week said China had cancelled up to 75 million bushels of purchases from Brazil due to shipping delays caused by port congestion. Ships are backed up around two months at the country's main ports, as a record crop compounds the usual troubles with the country's inadequate infrastructure.
So far, at least, it doesn't appear China will replace those purchases with beans sourced from the U.S. Instead, state-owned reserves may be released to keep prices under control.
Total old crop soybean sales came in at 4 million bushels in the latest week, with another 8.6 million of new crop put on the books. Shipments were 8.3 million bushels, just above the weekly rate forecast by USDA for the rest of the marketing year.
China showed up on the list of corn and wheat buyers as well this week, though not in sufficient quantities to boost totals up to trade expectations.
Old crop corn sales totaled just 3.6 million bushels. China accounted for a couple of loads but they were switched from deals accounted for earlier to unknown destinations, and didn't add to net new bookings. China also bought a load of new crop, with the total to all destinations at 7.2 million bushels. Shipments were better at 16.5 million bushels, close to the rate forecast by USDA for the second half of the marketing year.
Wheat sales led the pack this week, with old and new crop bookings totaling 21.1 million bushels. Still, that was below trade guesses, though the old crop total of 17.8 million bushel was well above the weekly rate forecast by USDA by the rest of the marketing year.