-Corn sales as expected
-Soybean sales larger than expected
-Wheat as expected – remain tepid
-SBM sales as expected, SBO stronger than expected
U.S. corn sales, for the week ended 5/14/20, were 884k tonnes (34.8 million bushels), in line with market expectations of 500k-1.0 MMT, but down from the previous week’s 42.4 million. However, this week’s sales were double last year’s same-week sales of 17.4 million bushels and were, again, notably above the roughly 11.0 million bushel/week average “needed” pace in order for 2019/20 exports to reach the USDA’s 1.775 billion bushel export projection. Since early March, corn sales have averaged 45.9 million bushels/week over the last 11 weeks vs 24.4 million/week during the same period last year. Total commitments of 1.554 billion bushels continue to gain on last year, now down less than 17% compared to year ago sales at this time of 1.864 billion bushels.
U.S. soybean sales were a 22-week high at 1.205 MMT (44.3 million bushels), coming in above market expectations of 500k-1.0 MMT, with 738k tonnes in new sales reported to China, as well as 264k tonnes to unknown. The sales to China are great to see and definitely needed if the USDA’s 1.675 billion bushel export projection is to be met, but it’s hard to completely ignore the fact this week’s sales included less than 300k tonnes to all other destinations besides China/unknown. Chinese total commitments now stand at 14.6 MMT vs 13.3 MMT at this time last year. We estimate soybean sales will need to average roughly 10.0 million bushels/week through the end of August in order for the USDA’s export estimate to be reachable vs last year’s 7.4 million/week average from this point forward. Total commitments of 1.526 billion bushels are now down 9% from last year’s 1.682 billion bushels after being down more than 16% in early March.
New crop wheat sales were 252k tonnes (9.3 million bushels), in line with market expectations of 100-400k, while old crop sales of 176k tonnes (6.5 mil bu) were also within expectations of 100-250k tonnes, as well. Overall, wheat sales remain quite tepid though. With only two full weeks remaining before the start of the 2020/21 marketing year, new crop total commitments of 93 million bushels are well below last year’s 122 million and are the 2nd lowest of the last 10 years at this point. Old crop total commitments of 976 million bushels are now up 3% from last year’s 945 million, leaving the USDA’s 970 million bushel export projection easily achievable if the last few weeks of 2019/20 see a pick up in shipments.
U.S. soybean meal sales were 199k tonnes, in line with expectations of 75-250k tonnes, up from the previous week’s 101k and were an 8-week high. Total commitments are down 8% from last year vs USDA estimating annual exports down just 1% year-over-year, leavings sales needing to average roughly 95k tonnes/week through the end of September vs last year’s 81k/week average from this point forward. Soybean oil sales were very strong at 62k tonnes, the 2nd highest of the marketing year and easily outpacing market expectations of 15-45k tonnes. This week’s activity included the previously-announced 20k tonne sale to China, but also 22k tonnes to South Korea. Total commitments are now up nearly 54% from last year vs USDA estimating 2019/20 exports up 31% on the year.