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-Soybean sales higher than expected
-Corn sales higher than expected
-Wheat sales towards bottom end of expectations
-SBM/SBO sales higher than expected

U.S. soybean sales, for the week ended 1/14/21, were strong at 1.818 MMT (66.8 million bushels), above market expectations of 750k-1.5 MMT, up sharply from the previous week’s 28.8 million bushels and, impressively, the largest in 13 weeks. China was quite aggressive heading into the mid-January USDA reports, buying another 486k tonnes (exclusive of 396k tonnes switched from unknown) and bringing their total purchases this year to 34.4 MMT vs 11.6 MMT at this time last year. Total commitments of 2.108 billion bushels represent nearly 95% of the USDA’s 2.230 billion bushel annual export projection, leaving sales needing to average only about 4.4 million bushels/week through the end of the marketing year vs last year’s 18.7 million/week average from this point forward. There were also 831k tonnes in new crop sales this week (319k China, 452k unknown, 60k Spain).

U.S. corn sales last week were strong, as well, at 1.438 MMT (56.6 mil bu), beating market expectations of 600k-1.2 MMT and essentially identical to the previous week’s sales, while continuing to run strongly better than last year’s 39.6 million bushels this week. Over the last 8 weeks, corn sales have averaged 48.7 mil bu/week vs 30.7 million/week during the same period last year. China was absent in this week’s activity, though, which featured 603k tonnes bought by Mexico and 401k tonnes by Japan. Total commitments of 1.843 billion bushels are more than double last year’s 800 million, leaving sales needing to average roughly 21.0 million bushels/week through the end of the marketing year in order to reach the USDA’s 2.550 billion bushel export projection vs last year’s 29.9 million/week average from this point forward.

U.S. wheat sales of 330k tonnes (12.1 mil bu) were towards the bottom of market expectations of 250-600k tonnes as the generally weak sales pace of late continues. Over the last five weeks, wheat sales have averaged only 12.8 mil bu/week vs 19.0 million/week in the 5-week prior period and 18.0 million/week last year. China was a buyer of 65k tonnes of white wheat for the week. Total commitments of 786 million bushels are now up only 6% from last year’s 745 million after running 10-13% above year ago levels from late October through early December. We estimate wheat sales will need to average roughly 10 million bushels/week through the end of May in order to reach the USDA’s 985 million bushel export projection vs last year’s 12.9 million/week, so even with the slow down of late, the sales pace is still keeping up with the USDA’s estimate.

U.S. soybean meal sales were strong again at 469k tonnes, above market expectations of 100-400k tonnes, up from the previous week’s also-strong 337k tonnes and hitting another new marketing year high. SBM sales remain a widespread affair with Morocco the largest buyer last week at 107k tonnes, followed by Colombia with 70k. SBM total commitments are holding onto a 2% gain relative to last year, while the USDA is projecting a 1% increase from last year. Sales will need to average roughly 152k tonnes/week vs last year’s 149k/week average from this point forward in order to reach the USDA’s annual export estimate. Soybean oil sales were the 2nd highest of the last 10 weeks at 52.3k tonnes, beating market expectations of 10-30k tonnes, and bringing total commitments to 555k tonnes vs 520k tonnes a year ago. We estimate SBO sales will need to average roughly 18.3k tonnes/week vs last year’s 21.3k/week in order to reach the USDA’s annual export estimate.

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