November 4, 2011


US soy export sales reach four-month low



As export sales of US soy to China are slower than usual, sales of US soy decreased 8% to a four-month low, according to USDA's data on Thursday (Nov 3).


China, which imports roughly 60% of soy on the world market, has been buying fewer soy from the US this autumn, normally the strongest period for US sales, due to strong competition from South American suppliers.


Net sales in the week ended October 27 fell to a net 209,700 tonnes, below the range of trade estimates for 450,000-750,000 tonnes and the lowest since late June.


USDA reported 217,700 tonnes in sales to China, 60,500 tonnes to Thailand and 49,500 tonnes to Egypt, along with smaller sales to Japan, Mexico and others. Those sales were offset by a net 225,000-tonne reduction in sales to unknown buyers, including 180,000 tonnes switched to China.


Over the past four weeks, China has purchased a net total of about 1.2 million tonnes of US soy, compared with more than 4.3 million tonnes in the same period last year, according to USDA's data.


But Chinese demand for US soy was expected to rise as prices were growing more competitive with rival exporters Brazil and Argentina and as US Gulf shipments to China hold a freight advantage over the South American suppliers.


Export sales of US corn rebounded last week from the prior week's 4-1/2 month low on solid sales to routine buyers and others.


USDA pegged sales last week at 622,600 tonnes, up 85% from the prior week, topping trade forecasts for 400,000-600,000 tonnes.


Top importer Japan was the week's biggest buyer with 252,900 tonnes in purchases, followed by Cuba with 150,000 tonnes, the country's largest weekly tally since in 1-1/2 years. Sales to emerging corn importer China totalled 60,000 tonnes, all of it switched from previously reported sales to unknown buyers.


US wheat export sales last week were little changed at 320,100 tonnes, with hard red winter and hard red spring wheats capturing the bulk of the sales.

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