Traders hoping this morning’s export sales data might give the markets a lift were by and large disappointed. USDA released its regular weekly totals from the prior week a day late due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Some might say they were a dollar short, too.
Corn sales were up from the prior week, but fell a little shy of trade guesses. A total of 42.6 million bushels of old crop business was put on the books along with 1 million more for the 2018 crop.
Japan and Mexico, the leading customers this year, again led the list of buyers, though South Korea canceled a cargo as its buying from the U.S. remains fairly slow. Japan’s buying was welcome after a slow start during the first quarter of the 2017/2018 marketing year. Still, total year-to-date corn sales and shipments to all customers are down 27% from last year’s strong clip.
Total soybean export sales for the week of 33.2 million bushels, including 31.9 million old crop, slipped from trade expectations, which were close to the prior week’s total of 43.3 million bushels. New business for the 2017 crop was a marketing year low, and total commitments are down 17% from last year’s record, even though USDA forecasts another increase this year.
China accounted for less than half the total of net new bookings, with its total commitments off 20% so far. Chinese customs data out today showed now such slowdown of the country’s total purchases, which were up 12% overall for the first two months of the marketing year. USDA made no announcement of new sales under its daily reporting system for large purchases, which are released after the weekly totals come out.
Wheat business was even more disappointing, coming in at just 7.3 million bushels, down by more than half from the prior week and trade guesses. No customer took more than one typical boat load, suggesting only hand-to-mouth buying by importers complacent thanks to large world supplies.
Spring wheat sales even saw a net reduction of 1.6 million bushels, with a load cancelled by unknown destinations.
Check out the gallery to dig into the latest export figures.