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October 30, 2020 | FBN Insights | Kevin McNew

Export Demand Steadies Grain Markets

Total bean sales of 1,726 million bushels continue to be record high

Robust Export Sales

  • Soybean sales, for the week ended October 22, were 59.5 million bushels, the lowest through the first eight weeks of the season.
  • Total bean sales of 1,726 million bushels continue to be record high for this point in the marketing year.
  • Soybean sales will only need to average roughly 11.6 million bushels per week to meet USDA’s projected total of 2,200 million.
  • Corn sales last week were surprisingly high at 88.3 million bushels, which is a new marketing year high.
  • The largest sales were 30.5 million bushels to an unknown destination, and 19.9 million to Mexico.
  • Exporters reported daily sales of 56.4 million bushels of corn for delivery to Mexico which should be reflected in next week’s report.
  • An average of approximately 24.5 million bushels of corn will need to be sold each week to meet USDA's 2,325 million bushel export projection.
  • Wheat export sales rebounded sharply to a 9-week high of 27.3 million bushels. 
  • Upland cotton sales of 288,700 running bales were up 27% from the previous week and 56% percent above the prior 4-week average. 
  • FBN’s Take On What It Means For The Farmer: There were no meaningful sales reported to China this week, likely slowing to concentrate on shipping commitments already on the books. Mexico’s corn purchases were strong, and this is typically the time of year they book the majority of imports. Bean sales remain far ahead of the pace needed to make USDA’s current forecast, which will likely need to be adjusted higher.

Attaché Report for Argentine Crops Leans Supportive

  • The latest attaché report forecast the Argentine wheat crop at 17.4 million tonnes or 1.6 million tonnes below USDA’s latest forecast.  
  • The lower production total is thanks to dry weather conditions and the La Nina pattern that is persisting.  
  • The winter wheat condition has been deteriorating for months.
  • Wheat exports are seen at 11.2 million tonnes.
  • Barley production is seen at 3.5 million tonnes or slightly larger than USDA’s October forecast with exports at 2.5 million, unchanged from last year.
  • Traders in the Argentine market indicate that China is actively purchasing Argentine barley of different qualities.
  • Corn production is forecast at 48 million tonnes or two million below USDA. 
  • Corn exports are forecast at 33 million tonnes; to date, exporters have forward purchased 8.2 million tonnes or 2.5 million less than a year ago.
  • Sorghum production is forecast at 2.6 million tonnes; thanks to Chinese interest, acreage for the feed grain is forecast to be higher.
  • FBN’s Take On What It Means For The Farmer: The smaller wheat production total is not surprising given the dry conditions realized there; however, Australia’s crop is forecast to more than offset losses in Argentina.  But, this still is a positive overall for the wheat complex and for other exporters.  For other feed grains, the La Nina system along with strong Chinese demand could keep those markets supported for the near term.

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