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September 04, 2020 | FBN Insights | Kevin McNew

Ag Markets Consolidate in Recent Ranges Before the Weekend

Corn sales include 45.5 million bushels to China

Strong Weekly US Export Sales

  • This week's data reflected the last full week of the 2019/20 marketing year for corn and soybeans.
  • New-crop corn sales, for the week ended Aug 27, were very strong at 94.1 million bushels. 
  • Corn sales included 45.5 million bushels to China and 22.4 million to unknown destinations.
  • Total commitments for 2019/20 were 1,755 million bushels compared with 1,966 million last year. 
  • Soybean new crop export sales were also at the top of the range of market expectations at 64.8 million bushels. 
  • China's official purchases for 2020/21 total 496 million bushels vs total purchases for 2019/20 of 17.0 MMT, but are likely in the 17-18 MMT when taking into account sales reflected as unknown.
  • Old-crop bean sales 3.2 million bushels brought 2019/20 total commitments to 1,746 million bushels versus 1,792 million last year. 
  • Wheat export sales were also strong at 21.5 million bushels, and total commitments are now 458 million bushels compared with 419 million last year.
  • Net sales of upland cotton was 131,500 running bales for 2020/21 with China accounting for 61,400 of that total.
  • FBN’s Take On What It Means For The Farmer: After taking into account recent export inspections, 2019/20 corn exports may be slightly below the USDA forecast of 1,795 million bushels, while soybean exports could be just above the USDA's 1,650 million bushel projection. The 2020/21 marketing year is off to an excellent start with record large commitments for this time in both corn and soybeans, and wheat sales are also ahead of last year’s pace. FBN looks for elevated sales to continue to support prices, and expects the USDA will need to adjust its forecasts higher in upcoming reports. 

China Wheat Imports Up

  • China’s 2020/21 imports are expected to rise to a seven-year high of 6.0 million tonnes, up 12% from last year.
  • France has been the largest supplier, selling 1.5 million tonnes to China in 2019/20.
  • Canada and Australia each sold 1.2 million tonnes of wheat to China last year.
  • The US accounted for 300,000 tonnes of the total while Russia sold just 108,000.
  • France’s farm ministry lowered its estimate of the 2020 soft wheat harvest to 29.71 million tonnes, 25% below last year’s crop.
  • China customs suspended barley imports from Australia after claims customs authorities found pests in a shipment of barley.
  • Russia can only supply small amounts of wheat, mainly because China bans most Russian wheat over fungus concerns.
  • FBN’s Take On What It Means For The Farmer: China is projected to almost double wheat imports in just two years as the country tries to secure food supplies amid a recovery in the domestic economy following coronavirus lockdowns. This is potentially good news for US suppliers as other exporters have issues either with production or with various restrictions.


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