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Mixed holiday week for U.S. export sales

U.S. export sales were mixed during the week ending January 4th with U.S. and global business slowed down by New Year celebrations. The USDA says corn, soybean, and rice sales were all up on the week, but below average, while sorghum and cotton showed week-to-week improvements and climbed above their respective averages. Wheat and soybean meal were down on the week and less than average, with a net cancelation for soybean oil. Beef and pork export sales for 2024 delivery were solid. Cumulative 2023 beef exports were down 14% from 2022, while pork was up 5%. Export business is driven by several factors including the value of the dollar and seasonal changes in supply.

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

Wheat came out at 128,100 tons (4.7 million bushels), down 3% from the week ending December 28th and 77% from the four-week average. China purchased 137,200 tons and Egypt bought 70,000 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 140,700 tons. In the back half of the 2023/24 marketing year, wheat exports are 565.6 million bushels, compared to 553.4 million in 2022/23.

Corn was reported at 487,600 tons (19.2 million bushels), 33% higher than the previous week, but 52% lower than the four-week average. Colombia picked up 216,100 tons and Japan purchased 152,500 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 138,200 tons. At this point in the marketing year, corn exports are 1.192 billion bushels, compared to 866 million this time last year.

Sorghum sales were 133,000 tons (5.2 million bushels), a significant improvement from the week before and 54% larger than the four-week average, all to China. Sorghum exports are 160.1 million bushels, compared to 14.2 million a year ago.

Rice sales were 52,700 tons, 69% more than the prior week, but 31% less than the four-week average. Panama bought 33,000 tons and Venezuela picked up 13,300 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 14,000 tons. Rice exports are 1,895,300 tons, compared to 1,102,300 last year.

Soybeans were pegged at 280,400 tons (10.3 million bushels), an increase of 39% on the week, but a decrease of 74% from the four-week average. Japan purchased 85,600 tons and China bought 81,900 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 194,400 tons. So far, this marketing year, soybean exports are 1.353 billion bushels, compared to 1.629 billion a year ago.

Soybean meal came out at 65,400 tons, a decline of 20% from the previous week and 68% from the four-week average. South Korea picked up 50,000 tons and Ireland bought 21,900 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 71,600 tons. For the marketing year to date, soybean meal exports are 7,213,400 tons, compared to 6,203,200 last year. Sales of 800 tons for 2024/25 delivery were to Mexico (700 tons) and Canada (100 tons).

Soybean oil had a net reduction of 1,500 tons, following a cancelation by Canada. Cumulative soybean oil exports are 32,000 tons, compared to 37,700 a year ago.

Upland cotton was pegged at 262,500 bales, up solidly from the week before and 49% above the four-week average. China and Vietnam both picked up 117,900 bales. 2023/24 upland cotton exports are 8,885,900 bales, compared to 8,859,000 in 2022/23. Sales of 22,000 bales for 2024/25 delivery were to Turkey.

Net beef sales for 2024 delivery totaled 12,200 tons. The reported buyers were Japan (3,300 tons), South Korea (2,400 tons), China (2,300 tons), Mexico (1,300 tons), and Taiwan (1,300 tons). A net reduction of 900 tons was carried over from 2023, which along with sales of 6,600 tons from December 29th to December 31st, put cumulative 2023 beef exports at 810,200 tons, 14% lower than 2022.

Net pork sales for 2024 delivery totaled 23,300 tons. The listed purchasers were Mexico (7,400 tons), Japan (4,300 tons), South Korea (4,100 tons), Canada (2,000 tons), and Colombia (1,400 tons). A net reduction of 73,500 tons was carried over from 2023, which along with sales of 10,500 tons from December 29th to December 21st, put 2023 pork exports at 1,580,000 tons, 5% higher than 2022.

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