Corn export sales fall to marketing year low

U.S. corn export sales hit a marketing year low during the week ending April 4th.
The USDA says that new low, just over the halfway point of the marketing year, followed a significant cancelation by unknown destinations. Corn export demand has been solid, but there’s competition from Brazil and Ukraine, especially for business with China. Soybeans, wheat, soybean oil, and pork all showed week-to-week improvements, while soybean meal, sorghum, rice, cotton, and beef fell below last week’s levels. Export trade is driven by several factors, including the value of the dollar relative to other currencies, geopolitical issues, and seasonal changes in supply.

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

Wheat came out at 80,700 tons (3 million bushels), up solidly from the week ending March 28th, but down 2% from the four-week average. The Philippines purchased 62,600 tons and Algeria bought 19,000 tons, with a handful of cancelations led by unknown destinations. With just under two months remaining in the 2023/24 marketing year, wheat exports are 691.8 million bushels, compared to 671.5 million in 2022/23. Sales of 274,400 tons (10.1 million bushels) for 2024/25 delivery were mainly to Japan (90,900 tons) and South Korea (62,500 tons).

Corn was reported at 325,500 tons (12.8 million bushels), 66% lower than the previous week and 72% below the four-week average. Japan picked up 221,100 tons and Mexico purchased 191,400 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 261,700 tons. Just past the halfway point of the marketing year, corn exports are 1.739 billion bushels, compared to 1.486 billion this time last year. Sales of 9,500 tons (400,000 bushels) for 2024/25 delivery were to Nicaragua (6,000 tons) and Honduras (3,500 tons).

Sorghum sales were 5,200 tons (200,000 bushels), a decline of 55% from the week before and 80% from the four-week average. China bought 73,200 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 68,000 tons. Sorghum exports are 198.5 million bushels, compared to 61.6 million a year ago.

Rice sales were 48,000 tons, a drop of 57% from the prior week and 47% from the four-week average. Haiti picked up 16,200 tons and Panama purchased 10,000 tons. Rice exports are 2,920,400 tons, compared to 1,722,900 last year. Sales of 500 tons for 2024/25 delivery were to Taiwan.

Soybeans were pegged at 305,300 tons (11.2 million bushels), an increase of 57% on the week, but a decrease of 3% from the four-week average. Mexico bought 172,600 tons and Egypt picked up 85,200 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 117,200 tons. So far, this marketing year, soybean exports are 1.501 billion bushels, compared to 1.842 billion a year ago.

Soybean meal came out at 187,900 tons, a dip of 7% from the previous week and 4% from the four-week average. Tunisia purchased 30,000 tons and Costa Rica bought 26,600 tons. Early in the back half of the marketing year, soybean meal exports are 10,586,800 tons, compared to 9,265,000 last year. Sales of 53,400 tons for 2024/25 delivery occurred as the sale of 60,000 tons to unknown destinations was partially offset by a cancelation of 6,600 tons by Canada.

Soybean oil was reported at 4,300 tons, 39% more than the week before, but 22% less than the four-week average. Mexico picked up 4,700 tons and Canada canceled on 400 tons. Cumulative soybean oil exports are 87,800 tons, compared to 103,100 a year ago.

Upland cotton exports were pegged at 81,500 bales, a drop of 4% from the prior week and 10% from the four-week average. China purchased 50,200 bales and Pakistan bought 23,900 bales. 2023/24 upland cotton exports are 10,971,100 bales, compared to 11,764,100 in 2022/23. Sales of 35,700 bales for 2024/25 delivery were primarily to Turkey (24,400 bales), Indonesia (4,400 bales), and Vietnam (4,400 bales).

Net beef sales totaled 13,200 tons, down 27% on the week, but up 2% from the four-week average. The reported purchasers were South Korea (3,700 tons), Japan (2,700 tons), China (1,800 tons), Taiwan (1,600 tons), and Mexico (1,200 tons). Shipments of 13,900 tons were 4% higher than the previous week, but 4% lower than the four-week average, mostly to Japan (3,700 tons), South Korea (3,600 tons), China (2,200 tons), Mexico (1,200 tons), and Taiwan (800 tons).

Net pork sales totaled 47,400 tons, a jump of 65% from the week before and 33% from the four-week average. The listed buyers were Mexico (19,700 tons), South Korea (9,200 tons), China (7,200 tons), Japan (6,900 tons), and Colombia (1,700 tons), with cancelations by Canada (500 tons), Australia (200 tons), Chile (200 tons), New Zealand (100 tons), and Taiwan (100 tons). Shipments of 35,500 tons were 2% higher than the prior week and 5% above the four-week average, mainly to Mexico (12,500 tons), Japan (5,400 tons), South Korea (5,200 tons), China (3,600 tons), and Canada (2,000 tons).

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