Few bright spots in weekly export numbers

The USDA reports the week ending May 4th was generally bearish for U.S. export sales. Wheat hit a marketing year low with Russia continuing to dominate the global market, and corn, soybean, beef, pork, rice, and soybean oil also saw significant week-to-week declines. Soybean meal and sorghum sales were up sharply on the week, while cotton sales were slightly higher. Export sales are driven by several factors including seasonal supply and demand trends, currency movement, and geopolitics. The USDA’s next supply and demand report is out Friday, May 12th at Noon Eastern/11 Central.

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

Wheat came out at 26,300 tons (1 million bushels), down 88% from the week ending April 28th and 86% from the four-week average. Unknown destinations purchased 17,000 tons and Mexico bought 10,500 tons. Nearing the end of the 2022/23 marketing year, wheat exports are 695.5 million bushels, compared to 713.9 million in 2021/22. Sales of 333,600 tons (12.3 million bushels) for 2023/24 delivery were mainly to the Philippines (139,000 tons) and Mexico (91,100 tons).

Corn was reported at 257,300 tons (10.1 million bushels), below the previous week, but 11% above the four-week average. Japan picked up 154,500 tons and Mexico purchased 74,800 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 129,400 tons. Closing in on the final quarter of the marketing year, corn exports are 1.512 billion bushels, compared to 2.303 billion a year ago. Sales of 83,100 tons (3.3 million bushels) for 2023/24 delivery were to Mexico.

Sorghum sales were 49,100 tons (1.9 million bushels), up sharply from both the week before and the four-week average. Unknown destinations bought 53,000 tons, while China canceled on 3,900 tons. Sorghum exports are 64.7 million bushels, compared to 269 million last year.

Rice sales were 30,600 tons, a decline of 34% from the prior week and 15% from the four-week average. Honduras picked up 20,000 tons and the Dominican Republic purchased 6,000 tons. Rice exports are 1,862,100 tons, compared to 2,644,200 a year ago.

Soybeans were pegged at 62,200 tons (2.3 million bushels), a drop of 79% on the week and 68% from the four-week average. Indonesia bought 88,800 tons and the Netherlands picked up 57,700 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 120,200 tons. So far, this marketing year, soybean exports are 1.865 billion bushels, compared to 2.148 billion last year. Sales of 50,100 tons (1.8 million bushels) for 2023/24 delivery were primarily to Portugal (23,000 tons) and Mexico (19,100 tons).

Soybean meal came out at 227,800 tons, 55% higher than the previous week and 52% above the four-week average. Vietnam purchased 55,000 tons and Romania bought 40,000 tons. For the marketing year to date, soybean meal exports are 10,020,400 tons, compared to 10,068,300 a year ago. The net reduction of 11,000 tons for 2023/24 occurred after a sale to Canada (1,000 tons) was offset by a cancellation from Ecuador (12,000 tons).

Soybean oil was reported at 300 tons, a decrease of 98% from the week before and 92% from the four-week average, all to Canada. Cumulative soybean oil exports are 117,700 tons, compared to 665,700 last year.

Upland cotton was pegged at 246,800 bales, an increase of 7% from the prior week and 56% from the four-week average. China picked up 106,200 bales and Vietnam purchased 67,100 bales. 2022/23 upland cotton exports are 12,499,200 bales, compared to 14,750,900 in 2021/22. Sales of 12,800 bales for 2023/24 delivery were mostly to Nicaragua (4,400 bales) and Peru (3,200 bales).

Net beef sales totaled 16,600 tons, down 18% on the week, but up 16% from the four-week average. The listed buyers were South Korea (4,400 tons), Japan (3,700 tons), Canada (3,100 tons), Mexico (2,100 tons), and Taiwan (1,000 tons). Shipments of 14,800 tons were a drop of 22% from the previous week and 11% from the four-week average, mainly to South Korea (4,300 tons), Japan (3,100 tons), China (2,100 tons), Canada (1,300 tons), and Mexico (1,300 tons).

Net pork sales totaled 30,000 tons, 39% less than the week before and 28% below the four-week average. The reported purchasers were Japan (9,900 tons), China (5,600 tons), Mexico (5,500 tons), the Philippines (1,700 tons), and South Korea (1,300 tons). Shipments of 36,900 tons were 4% lower than the prior week and steady with the four-week average, primarily to Mexico (13,900 tons), Japan (5,600 tons), China (5,400 tons), South Korea (2,700 tons), and Canada (2,000 tons).

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