USDA confirms big week for soybean export sales

The USDA confirms China and unknown destinations bought a lot of U.S. soybeans during the week ending June 4th. China was the leading buyer for old crop beans and unknown destinations was the top purchaser for new crop, taking in a combined 1.711 million tons over both marketing years. General trade sentiment was that the sales to unknown destinations will eventually be headed to China, but that won’t be known until the sales are delivered, which could be as late as August 31st, 2021. China was also the biggest buyer of U.S. sorghum and cotton, and purchased 5,200 tons of U.S. pork, but also canceled on 2,600 tons, leaving net sales at 2,600 tons. Corn sales were below average, while beef posted a solid week to week improvement.

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

Wheat for 2020/21 delivery came out at 270,400 tons (9.9 million bushels). Guatemala purchased 96,000 tons and the Philippines bought 71,500 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 160,400 tons. Very early in the 2020/21 marketing year, wheat sales are 214.2 million bushels, compared to 225.9 million towards the outset of 2019/20. A total of 2,088,000 tons were carried over from the 2019/20 marketing year, including 334,900 tons sold between May 28th and May 31st, putting the 2019/20 total at 24,812,200 tons, 2% more than the 2018/19 total of 24,231,600 tons.

Corn was reported at 660,700 tons (26.0 million bushels), up 4% from the week ending May 28th, but down 12% from the four-week average. Japan picked up 226,900 tons and Colombia purchased 128,700 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 163,000 tons. In the final quarter of the 2019/20 marketing year, corn sales are 1.619 billion bushels, compared to 1.906 billion in 2018/19. Sales of 25,900 tons (1 million bushels) for 2020/21 delivery were mainly to Peru (40,100 tons) and Jamaica (5,000 tons), with a cancellation by Mexico (14,600 tons).

Sorghum came out at 69,700 tons (2.7 million bushels), 25% lower than the previous week and 19% less than the four-week average. China bought 66,700 tons and Eritrea picked up 33,000 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 30,000 tons. Sorghum sales are 158.1 million bushels, compared to 61.4 million a year ago. Sales of 83,000 tons (3.3 million bushels) for 2020/21 delivery were to unknown destinations.

Rice had a net reduction of 17,500 tons. Sales of 3,100 to 11,600 tons were more than offset by the cancellation of 57,000 tons by Nicaragua. For the marketing year to date, rice sales are 3,285,500 tons, compared to 3,204,200 this time last year. Sales of 57,000 tons for 2020/21 delivery were to Nicaragua.

Soybeans were pegged at 1,003,700 tons (36.9 million bushels), considerably larger than the week before and 36% higher than the four-week average. China purchased 337,000 tons and unknown destinations bought 213,200 tons. So far, this marketing year, soybean sales are 1.604 billion bushels, compared to 1.724 billion a year ago. Sales of 1,212,500 tons (44.6 million bushels) for 2020/21 delivery were primarily to unknown destinations (644,000 tons) and China (517,000 tons).

Soybean meal was reported at 207,900 tons, 63% below the prior week and 15% under the four-week average. El Salvador picked up 37,200 tons and the Philippines purchased 32,200 tons, while Guatemala canceled on 10,000 tons. At this point in the marketing year, soybean meal sales are 10,726,100 tons, compared to 11,118,400 tons last year. Net reductions for the 2020/21 marketing year occurred the sale of 300 tons to Canada was more than offset by the cancellation of 19,300 tons by Colombia.

Soybean oil came out at 9,500 tons. Colombia bought 2,700 tons and South Korea picked up 2,600 tons, while Canada canceled on 500 tons. Cumulative soybean oil sales are 1,159,600 tons, compared to 761,700 a year ago.

Upland cotton was pegged at 399,600 bales, down from the previous week, but up from the four-week average. China purchased 209,500 bales and Vietnam bought 176,200 bales. 2019/20 upland cotton exports are 16,725,300 bales, compared to 15,168,400 in 2018/19. Sales of 193,400 bales for 2020/21 delivery were mostly to China (161,700 bales) and Vietnam (22,000 bales).

Net beef sales totaled 20,400 tons, an increase of 66% on the week and a big jump from the four-week average. The listed buyers were South Korea (7,200 tons), Japan (5,500 tons), Mexico (2,300 tons), Canada (2,200 tons), and Taiwan (1,900 tons). Shipments of 10,900 tons were down up 14% from the previous week, but down 1% from the four-week average, mainly headed to Japan (4,000 tons), South Korea (3,200 tons), Hong Kong (1,100 tons), Taiwan (1,000 tons), and Canada (300 tons).

Net pork sales totaled 17,200 tons, 1% less than the week before, but 60% more than the four-week average. The reported purchasers were Mexico (5,100 tons), Canada (4,700 tons), China (2,600 tons), Japan (1,800 tons), and Honduras (1,400 tons). Shipments of 31,700 tons were 1% higher than the prior week, but 8% lower than the four-week average, primarily on the way to China (12,700 tons), Mexico (8,200 tons), Japan (4,300 tons), South Korea (1,800 tons), and Canada (1,600 tons).

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