Everybody loves a bargain, and that apparently includes the world's biggest importers of corn and soybeans, who used last week's break in prices to load on new deals with the U.S. Wheat sales were also decent, but the latest export sales tally from USDA did little to lift the mood in grain futures ahead of the pit open in Chicago.
China again was noted booking all three commodities, continuing to favor supplies from the U.S.
While China and other old crop corn buyers took only small amounts, totaling 5.3 million bushels, they loaded up on deals for 2013, which added up to 43 million bushels. Mexico was the leading buyer of new crop, committing for 15.4 million bushels, while China accounted for another 8.2 million bushels, with Japan in for 4.85 million. Sales to unknown destinations were also big at 12.1 million bushels.
China and unknown destinations made up the bulk of 2013 soybean buying, booking almost 85% of the week's new crop purchases. New crop soybean sales are running only slightly behind last year's record preseason pace, while corn sales ahead of the marketing year are the best since 1995-1996, following another short crop year.
Wheat export sales of 21.9 million bushels were a little behind last week's total, but were mostly in line with trade estimates. China, which has aggressively bought U.S. soft red winter wheat this summer, was the leading buyer, taking 4.8 million more bushels. Brazil, which was rumored to be a heavy buyer of U.S. hard red winter wheat this week, officially accounted for 3.2 million bushels on the latest tally. Brazil is trying to replace supplies lost in Argentina, which restricted exports following lower production as it tries to fight rampant food inflation.