Mixed week for export numbers
Pork exports were down on the week but remained higher than average. For the week ending February 27th, the USDA says pork sales were nearly 34,000 tons, a little bit lower than the week before, but still above the four-week average, mainly to Mexico, China, and Japan. Beef exports continued to dip, with the weekly total 26% below average, corn export sales were also lower than average, and while sorghum was down sharply from the previous week’s marketing year high, China was still a significant buyer. Soybean export sales were below expectations with a big cancellation by unknown destinations and no sales to China, but it was another good week for wheat. Cotton hit a marketing year high and soybean product sales were solid. China started allowing tariff waivers this week, so any improvement in demand will start showing up next week. The USDA’s next set of supply and demand estimates is out March 10th.
Overall, soybeans were lower than expected, soybean oil was above pre-report estimates, and corn, wheat, and soybean meal fell with their anticipated ranges. Physical shipments of sorghum and wheat were above what’s needed to meet USDA projections for the current marketing year. The 2019/20 marketing year started June 1st for wheat, August 1st for cotton and rice, September 1st for beans, corn, and sorghum, and October 1st for soybean products.
Wheat came out at 542,500 tons (19.9 million bushels), up 42% from the week ending February 20th and 27% higher than the four-week average. Taiwan purchased 102,500 tons and South Korea bought 85,800 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 76,700 tons. With about a quarter left in the 2019/20 marketing year, wheat sales are 851.7 million bushels, compared to 829.7 million in 2018/19. Sales of 28,000 tons (1 million bushels) for 2020/21 delivery were to Mexico.
Corn was reported at 769,200 tons (30.3 million bushels), down 11% from the previous week and 29% lower than the four-week average. Mexico picked up 248,100 tons and South Korea purchased 136,000 tons. Nearing the halfway point of the marketing year, corn sales are 1.049 billion bushels, compared to 1.595 billion this time last year. Sales of 100,000 tons (3.9 million bushels) for 2020/21 delivery were to Mexico (98,000 tons) and Guatemala (2,000 tons).
Sorghum sales were 71,600 tons (2.8 million bushels), a decline of 84% from the week before and 46% from the four-week average. China bought 69,300 tons and Mexico picked up 1,300 tons. Exports this marketing year are 68.5 million bushels, compared to 34.4 million a year ago.
Rice exports were 38,200 tons, 27% below the prior week and 58% under the four-week average. South Korea picked up 15,800 tons and Honduras purchased 13,700 tons. For the marketing year to date, rice sales are 2,725,300 tons, compared to 2,412,000 last year.
Soybeans were pegged at 345,000 tons (12.7 million bushels), 2% more than the previous week, but 35% less than the four-week average. Mexico bought 164,000 tons and Egypt picked up 91,500 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 135,200 tons. So far, this marketing year, soybean sales are 1.252 billion bushels, compared to 1.440 billion a year ago. Sales of 1,400 tons (100,000 bushels) for 2020/21 delivery were to Japan.
Soybean meal came out at 316,700 tons, a significant improvement from the week before and 64% larger than the four-week average. The Philippines purchased 138,500 tons and unknown destinations bought 90,000 tons, while Germany canceled on 55,000 tons. At this point in the marketing year, soybean meal sales are 8,159,200 tons, compared to 8,722,500 last year. Sales of 4,900 tons for 2020/21 delivery were to Canada.
Soybean oil was reported at 43,500 tons. Guatemala picked up 16,000 tons and Colombia purchased 15,800 tons. Cumulative soybean oil sales are 732,600 tons, compared to 516,700 a year ago.
Upland cotton sales were 395,500 bales, an increase of 84% from the prior week and 40% from the four-week average. Vietnam bought 102,500 bales and Turkey picked up 77,500 bales, while Japan canceled on 19,700 bales. 2019/20 upland cotton exports are 14,042,900 bales, compared to 12,055,500 in 2018/19. Sales of 53,200 bales for 2020/21 delivery were primarily to Malaysia (16,700 bales) and Turkey (13,200 bales).
Net beef sales totaled 12,900 tons, a decrease of 8% on the week and 26% from the four-week average. The reported purchasers were Japan (5,100 tons), South Korea (2,000 tons), Taiwan (1,900 tons), Mexico (1,200 tons), and Canada (900 tons). Shipments of 16,600 tons were down 6% from the week before and 7% from the four-week average, mostly headed to Japan (6,100 tons), South Korea (4,300 tons), Mexico (1,900 tons), Canada (1,100 tons), and Taiwan (1,000 tons).
Net pork sales totaled 33,700 tons, 13% less than the previous week, but 12% more than the four-week average. The listed buyers were Mexico (17,500 tons), China (4,500 tons), Japan (3,800 tons), South Korea (3,300 tons), and Canada (1,400 tons). Shipments of 43,500 tons were up 2% from the prior week and the four-week average, mainly headed to China (17,500 tons), Mexico (10,800 tons), Japan (4,700 tons), South Korea (3,300 tons), and Canada (2,600 tons).