China big weekly buyer for U.S. soybeans

China accounted for most of the U.S. soybean export sales during the week ending September 21st. The USDA says China bought nearly 600,000 tons of U.S. beans, nearly all of the week’s reported purchases, but overall demand remains limited as Brazil holds a large share of the global market due to a price advantage. Corn, sorghum, wheat, and beef export sales were also up on the week. Export demand is influenced by several factors, including the strength of the dollar relative to other currencies and seasonal changes to supply. The USDA’s next set of supply and demand estimates is scheduled for October 12th, but that would be delayed if the federal government shuts down.

Physical shipments of wheat were more than what’s needed to meet projections for the current marketing year. The 2023/24 marketing year got underway June 1st for wheat, August 1st for cotton and rice, and September 1st for beans, corn, and sorghum, while 2022/23 started October 1st, 2022 for soybean products. The marketing year for beef and pork is the calendar year.

Wheat came out at 544,500 tons (20 million bushels), up 77% from the week ending September 14th and 51% from the four-week average. The Philippines purchased 115,000 tons and South Korea bought 90,400 tons. In the second quarter of the 2023/24 marketing year, wheat exports are 336.8 million bushels, compared to 392.6 million in 2022/23.

Corn was reported at 841,800 tons (33.1 million bushels). Mexico picked up 261,500 tons and unknown destinations purchased 138,600 tons. Early in the marketing year, corn exports are 494.8 million bushels, compared to 511.6 million a year ago. Sales of 15,200 tons (600,000 bushels) for 2024/25 delivery were to Mexico.

Sorghum sales were 58,000 tons (2.3 million bushels), all to unknown destinations. Sorghum exports are 80.9 million bushels, compared to 11.5 million this time last year. Sales of 180,000 tons (7.1 million bushels) for 2024/25 delivery were to China.

Rice sales were 28,100 tons. China bought 15,100 tons and Honduras picked up 9,500 tons. Rice exports are 749,700 tons, compared to 460,100 a year ago.

Soybeans were pegged at 672,200 tons (24.7 million bushels). China purchased 581,200 tons and Mexico bought 147,800 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 334,800 tons. So far, this marketing year, soybean exports are 652.2 million bushels, compared to 982.2 million last year.

Soybean meal had a net reduction of 16,900 tons. Sales of 4,500 to 11,400 tons were more than offset by cancelations ranging from 2,000 to 64,800 tons. Nearing the end of the 2022/23 marketing year, soybean meal exports are 12,889,300 tons, compared to 12,100,800 late in 2021/22. Sales of 375,700 tons for 2023/24 delivery were mainly to Canada (122,300 tons) and Guatemala (41,200 tons).

Soybean oil was reported at 4,700 tons, considerably more than the previous week, but quite a bit less than the four-week average. Canada picked up 4,800 tons, while Honduras canceled on 100 tons. Cumulative soybean oil exports are 132,000 tons, compared to 697,800 a year ago. Sales of 100 tons for 2023/24 delivery were to Honduras.

Upland cotton was pegged at 55,300 bales, down 48% from the week before and 31% from the four-week average. Vietnam purchased 15,700 bales and China bought 13,100 bales. 2023/24 upland cotton exports are 5,540,500 bales, compared to 8,019,400 in 2022/23. Sales of 11,000 bales for 2024/25 delivery were to Malaysia (8,800 bales) and Thailand (2,200 bales).

Net beef sales totaled 17,700 tons, an increase of 29% from the prior week and 42% from the four-week average. The reported buyers were Japan (3,900 tons), South Korea (3,500 tons), China (3,200 tons), Canada (2,400 tons), and Mexico (1,300 tons). Shipments of 15,200 tons were unchanged on the week and 3% below the four-week average, primarily to Japan (3,800 tons), South Korea (3,600 tons), China (1,800 tons), Mexico (1,700 tons), and Canada (1,300 tons). Sales of 200 tons for 2024 delivery were to Japan (100 tons) and Taiwan (100 tons).

Net beef sales totaled 27,400 tons, a decrease of 9% from the previous week and 6% from the four-week average. The listed purchasers were Mexico (11,600 tons), Japan (4,500 tons), South Korea (3,900 tons), Colombia (1,900 tons), and China (1,500 tons). Shipments of 30,000 tons were 17% larger than the week before and 11% above the four-week average, mostly to Mexico (12,800 tons), China (3,600 tons), Japan (3,400 tons), South Korea (3,200 tons), and Canada (2,200 tons).

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