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China pushes wheat export sales to marketing year high

The USDA says U.S. wheat export sales hit a marketing year high during the week ending December 7th, driven by demand from China. That sales total of 1.5 million tons comes at the halfway point in the marketing year, which has been relatively disappointing, with U.S. wheat exports limited by the relative strength in the dollar and Russia’s dominance of the global market. Corn, soybean meal, beef, and pork export sales were also up on the week, while soybeans, soybean oil, rice, and cotton were down. The USDA’s next round of supply and demand estimates is out January 12th, 2024.

Physical shipments of soybeans were more than what’s needed to meet USDA projections for the current marketing year. The 2023/24 marketing year started June 1st for wheat, August 1st for cotton and rice, September 1st for beans, corn, and sorghum, and October 1st for soybean products. The marketing year for beef and pork is the calendar year.

Wheat came out at 1,490,500 tons (54.8 million bushels), up significantly from both the week ending November 30th and the four-week average. China purchased 1,120,000 tons and the Philippines bought 124,100 tons. At the halfway point in the 2023/24 marketing year, wheat exports are 534 million bushels, compared to 518.5 million in 2022/23. Sales of 18,000 tons (700,000 bushels) for 2024/25 delivery were to Colombia.

Corn was reported at 1,418,600 tons (55.8 million bushels), 10% higher than the previous week, but 12% lower than the four-week average. Mexico picked up 669,800 tons and unknown destinations purchased 386,400 tons. Early in the second quarter of the marketing year, corn exports are 1.07 billion bushels, compared to 787.5 million this time last year.

Sorghum sales were 78,100 tons (3.1 million bushels), down 35% from the week before and 40% from the four-week average. Eritrea bought 63,000 tons and China picked up 15,000 tons. Sorghum exports are 144.3 million bushels, compared to 14.2 million a year ago. Sales of 60,000 tons (2.4 million bushels) for 2024/25 delivery were to China.

Rice sales were 121,100 tons, 6% under the prior week and 1% below the four-week average. Japan purchased 40,000 tons and Mexico bought 27,900 tons. Rice exports are 1,700,500 tons, compared to 850,000 last year.

Soybeans were pegged at 1,084,000 tons (39.8 million bushels), a decrease of 23% on the week and 46% from the four-week average. China picked up 718,300 tons and Germany purchased 113,200 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 144,300 tons. So far, this marketing year, soybean exports are 1.226 billion bushels, compared to 1.531 billion a year ago.

Soybean meal came out at 325,800 tons, quite a bit larger than both the previous week and the four-week average. The Philippines bought 189,900 tons and Mexico picked up 48,000 tons, but with a cancelation on 89,800. Late in the first quarter of the marketing year, soybean meal exports are 6,650,300 tons, compared to 5,544,900 last year. Sales of 500 tons for 2024/25 delivery were to Canada.

Soybean oil was reported at 300 tons, a drop from both the week before and the four-week average, all to Canada. Cumulative soybean oil exports are 28,300 tons, compared to 30,400 a year ago.

Upland cotton was pegged at 57,800 bales, a decline of 50% from the prior week and 77% from the four-week average. Vietnam purchased 21,200 bales and Honduras bought 16,900 bales. 2023/24 upland cotton exports are 7,975,900 bales, compared to 8,752,300 in 2023/24. Sales of 13,600 bales for 2024/25 delivery were mainly to Guatemala (8,100 bales) and Honduras (5,000 bales).

Net beef sales totaled 10,600 tons, a steep increase on the week and 67% greater than the four-week average. The reported buyers were South Korea (2,700 tons), Japan (2,300 tons), Mexico (1,800 tons), China (1,300 tons), and Canada (500 tons). Shipments of 14,500 tons were up 5% from both the previous week and the four-week average, primarily to South Korea (4,300 tons), Japan (3,000 tons), China (2,500 tons), Mexico (2,000 tons), and Canada (800 tons). Sales of 5,100 tons for 2024 delivery were mostly to Japan (2,600 tons), South Korea (1,000 tons), Canada (500 tons), Mexico (400 tons), and Chile (200 tons), with a net cancelation by China (100 tons).

Net pork sales totaled 28,200 tons, 9% higher than the week before and 15% above the four-week average. The listed purchasers were Mexico (13,700 tons), Japan (3,100 tons), Australia (2,100 tons), South Korea (1,600 tons), and Canada (1,300 tons). Shipments of 36,100 tons were 12% more than the prior week and 17% larger than the four-week average, mainly to Mexico (16,800 tons), South Korea (4,500 tons), China (3,100 tons), Japan (3,100 tons), and Colombia (2,500 tons). Sales of 12,900 tons for 2024 delivery were primarily to Mexico (6,300 tons), South Korea (2,200 tons), Colombia (1,400 tons), Australia (1,100 tons), and Japan (800 tons), with a net cancelation by China (100 tons).

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