U.S. Export Sales Cover Decent Share of Forecast Despite So-So Volumes -Braun | The Salesmark

U.S. Export Sales Cover Decent Share of Forecast Despite So-So Volumes -Braun

U.S. Export Sales Cover Decent Share of Forecast Despite So-So Volumes -Braun

Slower export sales of U.S. corn and soybeans have been on analysts’ radar amid high prices, demand concerns, and logistical issues, though the current booking progress is respectable versus full-year export predictions.

The health of forwarding sales and the intentions of top buyer China are still up in the air, though the U.S. government’s strong export projections have not left much room for slack.

As of Sept. 16, U.S. corn commitments for the 2021-22 marketing year that began this month totaled 24.95 million tonnes (982 million bushels), the highest for the date in at least 15 years.

That is 12% ahead of the year-ago pace and represents 40% of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2021-22 export forecast of 62.9 million tonnes (2.475 billion bushels). Some 38% of the government forecast was covered on the same date in 2020.

On average, mid-September corn sales cover about 28-30% of USDA’s September outlook, and this year’s edge can largely be attributed to China’s 11.9 million-tonne share.

U.S. corn bookings are not necessarily poor without China, as the 13 million tonnes sold to other destinations as of Sept. 16 is right around recent averages and up slightly from 2020.

Over the last year, China’s corn buying has come mostly in large chunks, unlike its steadier soybean purchasing. Chinese buyers have been inactive in the U.S. corn market since May, and it is not known when another round might land.

But China is thought to be harvesting a bumper corn crop right now and prices reflect that. On Wednesday, the most active corn futures on China’s Dalian exchange DCCv1 hit the lowest mark in a year, down 16% from the all-time high set in January.

Beijing on Thursday reduced its sow herd inventory target for the next five years in a bid to stabilize falling pork prices and guarantee supply. This, along with bigger domestic crops, adds to general concerns that China’s feed demand could disappoint.

It is not clear how much more U.S. corn China is predicted to claim, but meeting USDA’s export target would not require China to meet last year’s haul if another demand is at least routine.

SOYBEANS

As of Sept. 16, U.S. exporters had sold 23.2 million tonnes (852 million bushels) of soybeans for 2021-22, accounting for 41% of USDA’s full-year outlook of 56.9 million tonnes (2.09 billion bushels). That is a third lower than the year-ago volume but respectable versus other years.

That 41% is OK but a little low compared with previous years with similarly strong expectations as of September. About 60% of USDA’s year-ago projection had been sold by mid-September, and 2020-21 exports eventually became record-large.

Forward U.S. soybean sales depend most heavily on China, which will turn to Brazil’s potentially record harvest early next year, so the next three to four months are key. They also depend on U.S. export capacity, which is still not at full strength following hurricane damage to Gulf terminals.

The hurricane fallout has significantly hampered the start of 2021-22, and that may be impacting buyers’ decisions. China last week canceled cargoes of U.S. soybeans for October shipment and bought pricier Brazilian beans, very unusual for the time of year.

Corn and soybeans inspected for export from Sept. 1-16 totaled just 1.4 million tonnes, more than 60% below the 10-year average. That is the worst start in the data’s history back to 1983.

Some 6.8 million tonnes of corn and soybeans had been inspected by the same date last year, just below 2016’s all-time high of 7.3 million.

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