Disappointing news about wheat exports last week increased profit taking ahead of the pit open on Thursday, sending prices lower across the board.
USDA reported total sales at 11.6 million bushels in the week that ended with the March 28 Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings report. Traders expected almost double that amount, but old crop bookings instead posted a marketing year low of 5.2 million bushels. Egypt, the world's largest importer, which is strapped for cash, took a couple of loads, but the deals were switched from business previously announced to unknown destinations. Old crop shipments also fell well below the rate forecast by USDA for the remainder of the marketing year, which ends May 31.
Wheat prices surged on Wednesday, amid rumors China, and perhaps Russia, too, were actively booking U.S. soft red winter wheat. However, USDA made no new announcements this morning, under its separate program for daily reporting of large purchases.
News about old crop corn and soybean exports was a little better in today's weekly update, suggesting foreign buyers were nervous ahead of last week's USDA reports. Old crop corn sales hit 14 million bushels, and shipments came in at 22.3 million, both well above the rate forecast by USDA for the marketing year. Japan, Mexico and China took multiple loads, though much of that business was switched from unknown destinations.
Decent totals for new crop soybeans were expected going into today's report, because they were previously announced under the daily reporting system. But USDA also said old crop sales hit 14.4 million bushels, well above trade guesses, with China accounting for 5.1 million bushels. Buyers continue to ship out previous purchases due to port congestion in Brazil. Shipments in the latest week totaled 17.4 million bushels, nearly three times the rate projected by USDA for the rest of the marketing year. China took delivery on 9.6 million bushels.
Today's report also included the first data on weekly pork sales, which totaled 106.7 million pounds.