November 17, 2008

US grain export sales drop amid tough competition


US grain exports fell last week amid stiff competition and as the global economic slowdown affects demand, traders said on Friday (November 14).


An USDA report said US wheat sales last week fell 32 percent from the previous week to 248,300 tonnes, and was 40 percent below the prior 4-week average.


The world is awash with wheat this year, with the USDA forecasting that global production will hit a record 682.4 million tonnes this marketing season that began June 1, up 2.2 million tonnes from its October estimate.


Increased wheat production in Europe and Russia has stepped up competition for supplies from the US, the world's top wheat exporter.


Traders said demand for US corn was poor, due to the large availability of feed wheat in Eastern Europe.


A trader said that there is a lot of feed wheat in Europe.


USDA said corn export sales totalled 355,500 tonnes last week, down 25 percent from the previous week and down 46 percent from the prior 4-week average.


Joe Bedore, CBOT floor manager for trade house FC Stone said export sales as a group were not very good, and there is no demand for corn besides adding that in general, the export sales numbers were disappointing.
He said soy export sales were okay on the surface but if you take out the China sales, there is not much left.

China, the world's top importer of soy and the No. 1 market for US supplies, bought 207,800 tonnes of the total 478,300 tonnes sold last week.


Soy export sales last week were 47 percent below the previous week and 53 percent below the prior 4-week average.


Paul Haugens, vice-president for US Newedge said that export sales are atrocious.

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