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May 22, 2020 | FBN Insights | Kevin McNew

Soybean Export Sales Surprise to the Upside

Sales of old-crop soybeans were well above expectations at 22-week high of 44.3M bushels

Soybean Export Sales Surprise to the Upside 

  • Corn export sales, for the week ended 5/14/20, were 34.8 million bushels, down from 42.4 million last week.
  • Corn sales were still well above the 11 million bushels per week needed to reach the latest USDA projection of 1.775 billion bushels.
  • Sales of old-crop soybeans were well above expectations at a 22 week high of 44.3 million bushels, which included 27 million to China and 9.7 million to “unknown”.
  • China was also reported buying 17 million bushels of soybeans for 2020/21.
  • Wheat sales were about as expected with 6.5 million bushels of old crop and 9.3 million new crop bushels booked.
  • Cotton sales were a disappointing 128,900 running bales, down 46% from last week and 51% below the 4-week average.

FBN’s Take On What It Means: Export sales of corn continue to be robust and narrow the gap with last year. Total commitments of 1.554 billion bushels are now down less than 17% compared to 1.864 billion bushels at this time last year. Soybean sales were much better than expected and Chinese total commitments are now 536 million bushels compared to 488 million at the same time last year. 2019/20 total sales of 1.526 billion bushels are now down 9% from last year's 1.682 billion bushels after being down more than 16% in early March. Though it’s nice to see China step up their game a bit, it will still be difficult for the US to reach USDA’s revised soybean export projection of 1.675 billion bushels for 2019/20.  

Kansas Wheat Tour Sees Smaller Crop 

  • The total estimated yield potential for Kansas wheat this year will be just around 44.5 bushels per acre.
  • The Kansas virtual wheat tour concluded with a state crop estimate at 284 million bushels vs USDA’s May projection of 306 million.
  • Nebraska Wheat projects a total Nebraska crop at just over 42 million bushels, compared to USDA’s latest estimate of 42 million.
  • Colorado Wheat projected the state’s crop at 54 million bushels vs USDA’s 61 million bushels.
  • The Oklahoma tour projected production of 96.5 million bushels, below the 2019 production of 110 million bushels.

FBN’s Take On What It Means: This year’s wheat tour was scaled back due to coronavirus concerns, but still offers some insight into HRW production suggesting that winter wheat production will be down from a year ago. Some freeze and drought damage was noted, especially in the southwest, but the news was not all bad as much of the state still holds potential for good yields if timely rains are realized. Overall the results are not outside expectations.    

The risk of trading futures, hedging, and speculating can be substantial. FBN BR LLC (NFA ID: 0508695)

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