-Soybean sales much larger than expected on good sales to China
-Corn sales expected but weak overall
-Wheat sales at bottom of expectations
-SBM sales solid/SBO sales minimal
U.S. soybean sales, for the week ended 10/31/19, were strong at 1.807 MMT (66.4 million bushels), coming in well above market expectations of 600k-1.2 MMT, with net sales to China on the week of 760k tonnes, bringing their total commitments to 7.15 MMT vs just 841k tonnes at this time last year. This week’s sales were the largest in four weeks and followed two weeks in which sales averaged a modest 23.6 million bushels/week. Total soybean sales now stand at 775 million bushels, down just 2% from last year’s 792 million after starting the 2019/20 marketing year in September down 44% on the year. Given the resumption in sales to China and favorable trade deal outlook, we expect USDA to leave their 1.775 billion bushel export projection unchanged in tomorrow’s WASDE report. Soybean sales will need to average roughly 23.6 million bushels/week through the end of next August to reach the USDA’s target, in line with last year’s 23.3 million/week average from this point forward.
U.S. corn sales were weak again at just 488k tonnes (19.2 million bushels) and while they were within market expectations of 300-650k tonnes, they were considerably below the roughly 32.1 million bushels/week they need to average in order for the USDA’s 1.900 billion bushel export projection to be reachable. Only one of 2019/20’s nine weeks so far has seen corn sales meet the “needed” sales pace and have averaged just 17.2 million bushels/week over the last five weeks. Total commitments of 468 million bushels are down 47% from last year, while the USDA is projecting exports to decline just 8% on the year. Accordingly, we feel USDA has more than enough reasoning to lower their export projection in tomorrow’s WASDE report even if 2nd half marketing year exports are likely to improve considerably once the South American export program seasonally slows.
U.S. wheat sales last week were disappointing at just 361k tonnes (13.2 million bushels), at the extreme bottom of market expectations of 350-600k tonnes, down from the previous week’s 18.2 mil bu, last year’s 24.3 mil bu and below the most-recent 4-week average sales of 15.4 mil bu/week. Total commitments of 549 million bushels are now up just 9% from last year’s 505 million after being up more than 20% in early September. Wheat sales will need to average roughly 12.7 million bushels/week through the end of next May to reach the USDA’s 950 million bushel export projection vs last year’s 14.8 million/week average from this point forward. We see USDA leaving their wheat export estimate unchanged tomorrow.
U.S. soybean meal sales last week were strong at 262k tonnes, at the upper end of market expectations of 150-300k tonnes, up from the previous week’s 179k tonnes and were the 2nd highest of the first 5 weeks of the 2019/20 marketing year. SBM total commitments are currently down 14% from last year, though, while USDA is estimating this year’s exports to rise roughly 1%. Soybean oil sales were minimal at just 3.8k tonnes (5-25k expected), but followed last week’s strong sales of 30k tonnes. Total commitments are now down 4% from last year, while USDA is estimating 2019/20 exports to decline nearly 15% from a year ago.