Mostly mixed week for U.S. export sales

The USDA reports the week ending February 16th was a mixed, mostly bearish, week for U.S. export sales. Cotton hit a marketing year high for the second time this month, with Vietnam and Pakistan picking up more than half of the week’s totals. Pork was up sharply from the four-week average thanks to strong demand from Mexico and China. Soybeans saw a week-to-week improvement but were lower than average and while wheat was up on the week, the pace is much slower than expected. Corn, beef, soybean products, rice, and sorghum sales were all below a week ago. Export demand is driven by several factors, primarily seasonal trends, and currency movement. The USDA’s next set of supply and demand estimates is out March 8th.

Wheat came out at 338,800 tons (12.4 million bushels), up 62% from the week ending February 9th and 39% from the four-week average. The Philippines purchased 105,000 tons and Mexico bought 69,000 tons. Nearing the final quarter of the 2022/23 marketing year, wheat exports are 619.2 million bushels, compared to 660.7 million in 2021/22. Sales of 80,000 tons (2.9 million bushels) for 2023/24 delivery were mainly to unknown destinations (35,000 tons) and Nigeria (26,000 tons).

Corn was reported at 823,200 tons (32.4 million bushels), down 20% from the previous week and 30% from the four-week average. Japan picked up 312,000 tons and Mexico purchased 289,600 tons. Getting close to the second half of the marketing year, corn exports are 1.128 billion bushels, compared to 1.873 billion this time last year. Sales of 25,500 tons (1 million bushels) for 2023/24 delivery were to El Salvador (22,500 tons) and unknown destinations (3,000 tons).

Sorghum sales were 102,800 tons (4 million bushels), 9% lower than the week before, but 18% higher than the four-week average. China bought 115,800 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 13,000 tons. Sorghum exports are 39.4 million bushels, compared to 258.5 million a year ago.

Rice sales were 32,200 tons, a decline of 46% from both the prior week and the four-week average. Honduras picked up 18,600 tons and Japan purchased 13,000 tons. Rice exports are 1,368,200 tons, compared to 2,216,500 last year.

Soybeans were pegged at 544,900 tons (20 million bushels), an increase of 20% on the week, but a decrease of 18% from the four-week average. China bought 176,200 tons and Egypt picked up 142,300 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 311,300 tons. So far, this marketing year, soybean exports are 1.785 billion bushels, compared to 1.812 billion a year ago. Sales of 11,700 tons (400,000 bushels) for 2023/24 delivery were to Japan.

Soybean meal came out at 65,600 tons, 76% under the previous week and 72% below the four-week average. Colombia purchased 21,400 tons and Honduras bought 11,200 tons. At this point in the marketing year, soybean meal exports are 7,553,200 tons, compared to 8,233,000 last year.

Soybean oil had a net reduction of 800 tons. Cumulative soybean oil exports are 50,900 tons, compared to 558,500 a year ago.

Upland cotton was reported at 425,300 bales, a jump of 96% from the week before and 97% from the four-week average. Vietnam picked up 131,200 bales and Pakistan purchased 95,600 bales. 2022/23 upland cotton exports are 10,358,300 bales, compared to 12,581,600 in 2021/22. Sales of 11,900 bales for 2023/24 delivery were primarily to Turkey (6,600 bales) and Thailand (4,000 bales).

Net beef sales totaled 15,400 tons, a drop of 45% from the prior week and 35% from the four-week average. The listed buyers were China (4,300 tons), South Korea (2,800 tons), Japan (2,200 tons), Taiwan (1,600 tons), and Canada (1,200 tons), with a cancellation by Colombia (100 tons). Shipments of 16,700 tons were unchanged on the week and steady with the four-week average, mostly to South Korea (4,600 tons), Japan (4,100 tons), China (3,400 tons), Mexico (1,500 tons), and Taiwan (900 tons). Sales of 100 tons for 2024 delivery were to Canada.

Net pork sales totaled 51,900 tons, 16% larger than the previous week and 39% above the four-week average. The reported purchasers were Mexico (25,000 tons), China (12,100 tons), Japan (4,000 tons), South Korea (2,700 tons), and Colombia (2,300 tons). Shipments of 29,200 tons were down 4% from the week before and 8% from the four-week average, mainly to Mexico (13,000 tons), Japan (3,300 tons), China (3,100 tons), South Korea (2,900 tons), and Canada (2,000 tons).

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