Corn export sales slide to marketing year low

U.S. corn export sales hit a marketing year low during the week ending April 27th. The USDA says the net reduction of more than 315,000 tons of U.S. corn followed significant cancellations by China and unknown destinations. Pork exports were down from the previous week’s marketing year high, but still much larger than average. Soybeans, rice, and sorghum were also lower, while beef, wheat, soybean products, and cotton showed week to week improvements. There are several factors that drive export demand including seasonal supply trends, currency movement, and geopolitics. The USDA’s next set of supply and demand estimates is out Friday, May 12th.

Physical shipments of corn and soybeans were more than what’s needed to meet USDA projections for the current marketing year. The 2022/23 marketing year started June 1st, 2022 for wheat, August 1st, 2022 for cotton and rice, September 1st, 2022 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 211,100 tons (7.8 million bushels), up 36% from the week ending April 20th and 14% from the four-week average. Mexico purchased 72,600 tons and South Korea bought 32,000 tons. With roughly a month remaining in the 2022/23 marketing year, wheat exports are 694.5 million bushels, compared to 713.4 million in 2021/22. Sales of 279,700 tons (10.3 million bushels) for 2023/24 delivery were mainly to unknown destinations (135,000 tons) and South Korea (45,300 tons).

Corn had a net reduction of 315,600 tons (-12.4 million bushels), down sharply from both the previous week and the four-week average. Japan picked up 193,300 tons and Taiwan purchased 74,400 tons, but China canceled on 562,800 tons and unknown destinations canceled on 168,800 tons. Nearing the final quarter of the marketing year, corn exports are 1.501 billion bushels, compared to 2.295 billion a year ago. Sales of 121,000 tons (4.8 million bushels) for 2023/24 delivery were primarily to Mexico (97,300 tons) and El Salvador (20,000 tons).

Sorghum sales were 1,200 tons, a big decline from the week before and 95% lower than the four-week average. China bought 56,200 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 55,000 tons. Sorghum exports are 62.8 million bushels, compared to 267.9 million this time last year.

Rice sales were 46,000 tons, 10% under the prior week and 7% below the four-week average. Mexico picked up 30,200 tons and Haiti purchased 11,500 tons. Rice exports are 1,831,500 tons, compared to 2,615,100 a year ago.

Soybeans were pegged at 289,700 tons (10.6 million bushels), a decrease of 7% on the week, but an increase of 78% from the four-week average. China bought 134,300 tons and Germany picked up 128,300 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 217,800 tons. So far, this marketing year, soybean exports are 1.863 billion bushels, compared to 2.143 billion last year. Sales of 67,000 tons (2.5 million bushels) were to China.

Soybean meal came out at 179,600 tons, 17% more than the previous week, but 10% less than the four-week average. Morocco purchased 31,600 tons and the Dominican Republic bought 30,300 tons. In the back half of the marketing year, soybean meal exports are 9,742,600 tons, compared to 9,886,300 a year ago. A net reduction of 17,000 tons for 2023/24 followed the sale of 3,000 tons to Canada and the cancellation of 20,000 tons from Ecuador.

Soybean oil was reported at 14,000 tons, quite a bit above both the week before and the four-week average. Spain picked up 20,000 tons and Mexico purchased 13,500 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 20,000 tons. Cumulative soybean oil exports are 117,500 tons, compared to 665,100 last year.

Upland cotton was pegged at 231,300 bales, 19% higher than the prior week and 65% greater than the four-week average. China bought 117,100 bales and Vietnam picked up 43,500 bales. 2022/23 upland cotton exports are 12,252,400 bales, compared to 14,723,300 in 2021/22. Sales of 26,900 bales for 2023/24 delivery were mainly to Turkey (12,800 bales) and Honduras (8,300 bales).

Net beef sales totaled 20,100 tons, up sharply on the week and 59% higher than the four-week average. The listed purchasers were Japan (4,700 tons), South Korea (3,600 tons), China (3,400 tons), Taiwan (2,500 tons), and Mexico (2,000 tons), with a cancellation by the United Kingdom (100 tons). Shipments of 18,800 tons were 18% higher than the previous week and 16% above the four-week average, mainly to Japan (5,200 tons), South Korea (4,800 tons), China (3,500 tons), Taiwan (1,300 tons), and Mexico (1,200 tons).

Net pork sales totaled 49,000 tons, a decrease of 9% from the week before, but an increase of 15% from the four-week average. The reported buyers were Mexico (14,600 tons), China (14,200 tons), South Korea (7,700 tons), Japan (3,400 tons), and Canada (2,700 tons). Shipments of 38,600 tons were 2% above the prior week and 10% more than the four-week average, primarily to Mexico (15,100 tons), China (5,800 tons), Japan (4,700 tons), and Canada (1,700 tons).

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