China top weekly buyer of U.S. pork, sorghum

The USDA says China was the biggest buyer of U.S. pork during the week ending March 12th. China bought 15,700 tons, just under half of the weekly total, following the previous week’s record cancellation by Beijing. China was also the leading buyer of U.S. sorghum and the second biggest for cotton, while unknown destinations topped the list for soybeans. Beef sales were up on the week, while corn and wheat were down. The USDA’s next set of supply and demand estimates is out April 9th.

Overall, soybean meal export sales were below expectations, while corn, soybean, soybean meal, and wheat sales were within pre-report estimates. Physical shipments of beans, corn, sorghum, and wheat were lower than what’s needed to meet projections for the current marketing year. The 2019/20 marketing year got underway June 1st for wheat, August 1st for cotton and rice, September 1st for beans, corn, and sorghum, and October 1st for soybean products.

Wheat came out at 338,300 tons (12.4 million bushels), down 25% from the week ending March 5th and 21% lower than the four-week average. Mexico purchased 83,300 tons and Japan bought 62,000 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 31,400 tons. With less than a quarter remaining in the 2019/20 marketing year, wheat sales are 880.7 million bushels, compared to 850.4 million in 2018/19. Sales of 143,800 tons (5.3 million bushels) for 2020/21 delivery were mainly to Malaysia (32,000 tons) and Italy (20,000 tons).

Corn was reported at 904,500 tons (35.6 million bushels), 39% under the previous week and 17% below the four-week average. Japan picked up 386,200 tons and South Korea purchased 269,500 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 265,300 tons. Just past the halfway point of the marketing year, corn sales are 1.142 billion bushels, compared to 1.644 billion this time last year. Sales of 56,100 tons (2.2 million bushels) for 2020/21 delivery were to Mexico (79,300 tons) with a cancellation by Guatemala (23,200 tons).

Sorghum sales were 366,000 tons (14.4 million bushels), up 41% from the week before and 77% from the four-week average. China bought 202,300 tons and unknown destinations picked up 128,000 tons. Sorghum exports are 93.1 million bushels, compared to 37.3 million a year ago.

Rice exports were 48,100 tons, 13% more than the prior week, but 16% less than the four-week average. Japan purchased 19,300 tons and Haiti bought 15,300 tons, while Mexico canceled on 6,000 tons. Rice sales are 2,815,900 tons, compared to 2,488,000 last year.

Soybeans were pegged at 631,600 tons (23.2 million bushels), a big jump from the previous week and 71% larger than the four-week average. Unknown destinations picked up 211,500 tons and Egypt purchased 108,800 tons. So far, this marketing year, soybean sales are 1.286 billion bushels, compared to 1.522 billion a year ago. Sales of 69,600 tons (2.6 million bushels) for 2020/21 delivery were primarily to unknown destinations (68,000 tons).

Soybean meal came out at 129,100 tons, down 25% from the week before and 37% lower than the four-week average. Canada bought 34,200 tons and Mexico picked up 34,100 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 17,000 tons. For the marketing year to date, soybean meal sales are 8,460,000 tons, compared to 9,045,900 last year.

Soybean oil was reported at 18,900 tons. Guatemala purchased 8,500 tons and Canada bought 4,800 tons. Cumulative soybean oil sales are 776,100 tons, compared to 536,300 a year ago. Sales of 2,000 tons for 2020/21 delivery were to Canada.

Upland cotton was pegged at 340,700 bales, 30% less than the prior week, but 3% more than the four-week average. Pakistan picked up 96,000 bales and China purchased 61,700 bales. 2019/20 upland sales are 14,867,800 tons, compared to 12,346,600 in 2018/19. Sales of 78,500 bales for 2020/21 delivery were mostly to Turkey (32,600 bales) and Pakistan (22,000 bales).

Net beef sales totaled 21,200 tons, an increase of 20% on the week and 33% from the four-week average. The listed buyers were South Korea (7,300 tons), Japan (4,000 tons), Canada (2,700 tons), Taiwan (2,300 tons), and Mexico (1,700 tons). Shipments of 16,600 tons were up 2% from the previous week, but down 3% from the four-week average, mainly to Japan (5,600 tons), South Korea (4,400 tons), Mexico (1,500 tons), Canada (1,300 tons), and Taiwan (1,300 tons).

Net pork sales totaled 35,700 tons. The reported purchasers were China (15,700 tons), Mexico (8,600 tons), Japan (3,900 tons), South Korea (2,300 tons), and Chile (1,200 tons). Shipments of 43,000 tons were 4% lower than the week before and unchanged from the four-week average, primarily to China (15,600 tons), Mexico (10,400 tons), Japan (5,500 tons), South Korea (4,200 tons), and Canada (3,100 tons).

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