Mostly mixed week for U.S. export sales

The USDA says the week ending March 4th was a mixed week for export sales. Export demand is dependent on a number of factors, including domestic prices, freight costs, and activity in the U.S. dollar. Corn bounced back from two consecutive weeks of new marketing year lows, but was still below the four-week average, and while soybean and wheat sales were also up on the week, they were also lower than average. Beef and soybean oil sales were down on the week, but larger than average, while soybean meal and cotton were both above the week before and their respective averages. Pork exports dropped from the prior week’s high, with China purchasing about a third of the total, and sorghum rebounded after a net reduction, thanks to solid old and new crop sales to China. The USDA’s next set of supply and demand estimates is out April 9th.

Physical shipments of corn and soybean were more than what’s needed to meet USDA projections for the current marketing year. The 2020/21 marketing year started June 1st, 2020 for wheat, August 1st, 2020 for cotton and rice, September 1st, 2020 for beans, corn, and sorghum, and October 1st, 2020 for soybean products.

Wheat came out at 329,500 tons (12.1 million bushels), up 50% from the week ending February 25th, but down 4% from the four-week average. Mexico purchased 111,500 tons and Japan bought 56,100 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 51,000 tons. Early in the fourth quarter of the 2020/21 marketing year, wheat sales are 886.3 million bushels, compared to 868.3 million in 2019/20. Sales of 31,000 tons (1.1 million bushels) for 2021/22 delivery were to Honduras (17,000 tons) and Colombia (14,000 tons).

Corn was reported at 395,500 tons (15.6 million bushels), a solid improvement from the previous week, but a decline of 48% from the four-week average. Taiwan picked up 135,200 tons and South Korea purchased 127,600 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 180,900 tons. Just over the halfway point for the marketing year, corn sales are 2.343 billion bushels, compared to 1.107 billion a year ago. Sales of 287,300 tons (11.3 million bushels) for 2021/22 delivery were to Japan (175,200 tons) and Mexico (112,100 tons).

Sorghum sales were 60,300 tons (2.4 million bushels). China bought 60,200 tons. Sorghum exports are 233.8 million bushels, compared to 78.7 million this time last year. Sales of 53,000 tons (2.1 million bushels) for 2021/22 delivery were to China.

Rice sales were 29,000 tons, 69% lower than the week before and 61% below the four-week average. Mexico picked up 7,200 tons and Canada purchased 5,700 tons. Rice exports are 2,540,900 tons, compared to 2,755,900 a year ago.

Soybeans were pegged at 350,600 tons (12.9 million bushels), 32% more than the prior week, but 5% less than the four-week average. China bought 90,200 tons and Indonesia picked up 81,000 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 125,300 tons. So far, this marketing year, soybean sales are 2.221 billion bushels, compared to 1.259 billion last year. Sales of 213,200 tons (7.8 million bushels) for 2021/22 delivery were mainly to Taiwan (65,000 tons) and China (63,000 tons).

Soybean meal came out at 261,600 tons, an increase of 40% on the week and 12% from the four-week average. Mexico purchased 89,400 tons and the Philippines bought 75,200 tons. For the marketing year to date, soybean meal sales are 8,394,100 tons, compared to 8,330,900 a year ago. Sales of 18,300 tons for 2021/22 delivery were to Guatemala (12,000 tons) and El Salvador (6,300 tons).

Soybean oil was reported at 4,900 tons, 10% lower than the previous week, but 43% higher than the four-week average. South Korea picked up 25,000 tons and Hong Kong purchased 5,600 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 30,500 tons. Cumulative soybean oil sales are 602,900 tons, compared to 757,200 last year.

Upland cotton sales were pegged at 212,000 bales, up 25% from the week before and 5% from the four-week average. China bought 58,000 bales and Vietnam picked up 30,700 bales. 2020/21 upland cotton exports are 13,789,700 bales, compared to 14,527,100 in 2019/20. Sales of 92,200 bales for 2021/22 delivery were primarily to Mexico (56,300 bales) and Turkey (23,200 bales).

Net beef sales totaled 20,900 tons, 8% below the prior week, but 17% above the four-week average. The reported purchasers were South Korea (6,600 tons), Japan (5,900 tons), Mexico (2,100 tons), China (1,800 tons), and Taiwan (1,800 tons). Shipments of 17,800 tons were down 9% on the week, but up 5% from the four-week average, mostly to South Korea (5,500 tons), Japan (4700 tons), China (2,700 tons), Mexico (1,200 tons), and Taiwan (900 tons).
Net pork sales totaled 32,400 tons were a decrease of 46% from the previous week and 17% from the four-week average. The listed buyers were China (10,700 tons), Mexico (6,900 tons), Japan (3,100 tons), South Korea (2,900 tons), and Canada (2,800 tons), with a cancellation by Guatemala (400 tons). Shipments of 39,300 tons were 2% less than the week before, but 3% more than the four-week average, mainly to China (11,900 tons), Mexico (10,000 tons), Japan (4,800 tons), South Korea (3,300 tons), and the Philippines (2,000 tons).

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