-Corn exports within expectations – remain below “needed” pace
-Soybean exports at lower end of expectations
-Wheat exports within expectations
U.S. corn exports, for the week ended 1/20/22, were 1.116 MMT (43.9 million bushels), with market expectations of 900k-1.6 MMT (35.4-63.0 mil bu), but declined a bit from the previous week’s 1.237 MMT (48.7 mil bu) and were again solidly below year ago same-week exports of 1.403 MMT (55.2 mil bu). Over the last five weeks, U.S. corn exports averaged 40.1 million bushels/week vs 47.5 million/week during the same period last year. More importantly, while shipments have picked up as the soybean export program seasonally slows, they continue to run below the estimated needed pace to reach the USDA’s 2.425 billion bushel export projection. In fact, not a single week’s exports so far through the first 21 weeks of the 2021/22 marketing year have reached the current 51.0 million bushels/week estimated weekly average shipments needed through the end of August in order to reach the USDA’s annual export target. This week’s activity included 348k tonnes of corn being shipped to China, leaving them with roughly 9.2 MMT of unshipped U.S. corn purchases still on the books vs 5.9 MMT officially unshipped at this time last year. Cumulative export inspections of 647 million bushels are down 13% from last year’s 744 million vs USDA currently estimating this year’s corn exports to be down 11.9% from a year ago.
U.S. soybean exports last week of 1.298 MMT (47.7 million bushels) declined solidly from the previous week’s 1.727 MMT (63.4 mil bu), were down substantially from last year’s same-week exports of 2.103 MMT (77.3 mil bu), were at the bottom of market expectations of 1.2-1.9 MMT (44.1-69.8 mil bu) and were the 2nd lowest of the last 16 weeks as they continue to seasonally decline. This week’s activity included 641k tonnes shipped to China, reducing their outstanding (unshipped) purchases to roughly 3.0 MMT vs 3.6 MMT officially unshipped at this time last year. Cumulative export inspections of 1.277 billion bushels are now down a 10-week high of 23.7% from last year’s 1.674 billion bushels, requiring shipments from this point forward to average roughly 23.1 million bushels/week through the end of August in order to reach the USDA’s 2.050 billion bushel export projection vs last year’s 15.7 million/week average from this point forward. The USDA’s export projection reflects an expected 9.5% decline in annual exports from last year.
U.S. wheat exports last week of 401k tonnes (14.7 mil bu) were near unchanged from the previous week’s 384k tonnes (14.1 mil bu), but were solidly below year ago same-week exports of 572k tonnes (21.0 mil bu), while falling in line with market expectations of 250-450k tonnes (9.2-16.5 mil bu). We would note last week’s wheat exports were actually the highest in 15 weeks, which isn’t saying much as they were still below the roughly 15.1 million/week average we estimate will be needed through the end of May to reach the USDA’s 825 million bushel export projection. Cumulative export inspections of 486 million bushels are down 18% from last year’s 594 million, a bit below the USDA’s annual export projection reflecting an expected 17% decline from last year.