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-Corn sales lower than expected
-Soybean sales as expected
-New crop wheat sales better than expected
-SBM sales at bottom of expectations/SBO higher than expected

U.S. corn export sales, for the week ended 5/21/20, were disappointing at 427k tonne (16.8 million bushels) relative to market expectations of 500k-1.0 MMT and were the lowest in 20 weeks going back to the holiday week of 01/02/20. However, given the very strong pace of sales since early March, averaging 45.7 million bushels/week over the previous 11 weeks, sales still beat the roughly 11.0 million bushels/week we estimate is needed through the end of August in order for the USDA’s 1.775 billion bushel export projection to be reached. Year ago sales this week were solid at 35.6 million bushels, keeping the year-over-year decline in total commitments, now at 1.568 billion bushels vs 1.899 billion last year, at 17%. New crop sales were minimal at 1.8 million bushels, putting 2020/21 total commitments at 133 million bushels vs 102 million in new crop sales at this time last year.

U.S. soybean sales were 644k tonnes (23.7 million bushels), in line with expectations of 400-900k tonnes, and were better than last year’s same-week sales of 14.6 million bushels, as well as the estimated 9.0 million bushels/week sales will need to average through the end of August in order for the USDA’s 1.675 billion bushel export projection to be reached. Soybean sales from this point forward last year averaged 6.9 million bushels/week. Over the last five weeks, soybean sales have averaged 30.8 million bushels/week as modest Chinese buying resumed. This week’s activity included 193k tonnes in new sales to China, bringing their 2019/20 total purchases to 14.8 MMT vs 13.5 MMT at this time last year. They currently only have 2.0 MMT in unshipped purchases on the books at this time, though, vs 6.9 MMT last year. Total commitments of 1.549 billion bushels are still down 8.7% from last year’s 1.696 billion with 14 weeks left in the marketing year. USDA is currently estimating this year’s soybean exports down 4.2% from last year.

U.S. wheat new crop sales were solid at 497k tonnes (18.2 million bushels), beating market expectations of 100-300k tonnes and putting 2020/21 total commitments at 111 million bushels vs 137 million in new crop sales at this time last year with only one full week before the start of the new year. However, new crop sales are the 2nd lowest of the last 11 years at this point in time. Old crop sales were 210k tonnes (7.7 mil bu) vs expectations of 50-300k tonnes as sales for 2019/20 continue to be added despite the marketing year being nearly over and the actual shipment pace remaining quite tepid. There were 112 million bushels in unshipped sales on the books for 2019/20 with 10 days remaining in the marketing year vs 88 million at this time last year.

U.S. soybean meal sales of 127k tonnes were at the bottom of market expectations of 100-300k tonnes, but still met the roughly 93k tonnes/week we estimate is necessary to allow the USDA’s export projection to be reached. Each of the last 10 weeks’ SBM sales met or exceeded the “needed” pace. Total commitments are down 8.5% from last year vs USDA estimating exports nearly unchanged on the year, but last year’s sales from this point forward averaged only 75k tonnes/week. Soybean oil sales were strong at 57k tonnes, easily beating market expectations of 5-30k tonnes and followed the previous week’s strong 62k tonnes, as well. Sales this week included 26k tonnes to Colombia and 19.5k to South Korea. Total commitments are up 54% from last year vs USDA projecting SBO exports up 31% as another upward revision in the USDA’s export estimate appears necessary in the June WASDE report.

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