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Corn and Soybean Export Inspections Show Trade War Impact

Podcast / Newsline December 11, 2018

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Corn and soybean exports show sharply contrasting data, a result of turbulent trade with China. Micheal Clements has more. 

Clements: U.S. farmers are expected to export a record amount of corn this marketing year. However, soybean export inspections are down 42 percent, so far, according to USDA, with only 521 million bushels inspected. Megan Nelson, economic analyst at the American Farm Bureau Federation, says the U.S.-China trade war is the leading cause.

Nelson: One of the larger driving factors for such low soybean export inspections is the current trade situation with China. Currently, U.S. soybean exports are down 98 percent to China compared to this time last year.

Clements: Nelson says USDA predicts record-high corn exports, and corn shipments could move even higher than forecasted.

Nelson: USDA projected record-high exports this year for corn and we may very well surpass even those expectations. Corn export inspections currently total 595 million bushels, which is up 253 million bushels from last year. Additionally, corn commitments are up 17 percent from last year and are projected to be over one billion bushels.

Clements: The export inspection data from USDA, Nelson says, points to lower soybean prices and higher corn prices.

Nelson: Lower soybean exports would further increase what is expected to be a record soybean carryout in the 2018/19 marketing year. This would push prices even lower. And then, in contrast, the improved outlook for corn demand is likely to lift prices even higher.

Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.

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