Rumors earlier this week of fresh buying interest out of China were confirmed by USDA morning, which announced new sales under its daily reporting system for large purchases, in addition to its regular weekly summary.
The government said China bought 6.1 million bushels of new crop beans and 55,000 metric tons of soybean oil, two thirds of it old crop. In addition, another 7.4 million bushels of new crop soybeans were bought by "unknown destinations," according to USDA.
The new business came on top of another strong week for soybean sales, which totaled 26.4 million bushels, above trade guesses. China was the leading buyer, taking 21.1 million bushels, though some of the deals were merely switched from those previously announced to unknown destinations.
The purchases, excluding today's deals, lift total new crop sales for the 2012 crop to 618 million bushels, 56% of USDA's forecast for the entire marketing year, which doesn't even begin until Sept. 1. Old crop shipments to date total 1.315 billion, 45 million behind USDA's forecast, with two more reporting periods left in the 2011 marketing year.
Soybean futures remained choppy despite the export news, posting modest gains into the 9:30 a.m. pit open.
While bean business is strong, corn sales continue to struggle as end users search for alternatives. Net new bookings for the week totaled 12.8 million bushels, above last week's disappointing numbers but hardly impressive. Shipments of old crop are 82 million bushels behind USDA's totals for the marketing year, with this week's 23.7 million well behind that pace.
China again showed up on the buyers list, taking a load of old crop and shipping out two.
Wheat sales of 17.4 million bushels were on target with trade guesses, but lag the rate forecast by USDA for the marketing year. Shipments did beat that pace, however, giving some support for hopes the government's forecast was in the ball park. Most buyer continue to take relatively small amounts, however, as they wait to see how harvests turn out around the world.