USDA’s Dec. 13 Foreign Agricultural Service’s Export Sales Report indicated total committed volume for soybean exports is 916 million bushels, up 29 million bushels from last week. With accumulated soybean exports of 526 million bushels and outstanding soybean sales at 390 million bushels, total committed volume remains down from last year, representing a 467-million-bushel or 33 percent decline. Figure 1 illustrates soybean export sales for the first 14 weeks of marketing year 2018/19.
Historically, at this point in the marketing year, about 68 percent of U.S. soybeans have been committed. The current commitment volume of 916 million bushels is 48 percent of the WASDE projection – nearly 1 billion bushels below the WASDE. What’s noteworthy is the despite this current trend the export projection was unchanged in the most recent Dec. 11 WASDE report.
One factor driving analysts’ renewed optimism in soybean exports is the recent shift in trade talks with China. According to FAS, U.S. soybeans recently posted the ninth-largest daily sale since 1977, at 1.1 million metric tons. Given that China is the largest importer of soybeans in the world, it will be important to continue monitoring the trade talks and their impact on the market and the pace of soybean exports.
Corn Export Pace
For the 14th week of the marketing year, USDA reports accumulated corn exports of 619 million bushels and 470 million bushels of outstanding corn sales. The total committed volume is currently 1.09 billion bushels, representing a 153-million-bushel, or 16 percent, increase from last year’s export commitments. Like soybeans, the most recent WASDE report did not update the projected total exports from 2.45 billion bushels. Figure 2 outlines corn export sales for the first 14 weeks of the 2018/19 marketing year.