December 1, 2008
US corn exports slow down for 5th week while soy export remains strong
US corn posted slow export sales for the 5th week in a row on Friday (Nov 28, 2008) due to cheap feed wheat cutting into demand, grain traders said.
Soy sales remained strong on large purchases by China. US wheat has entered a normally slow period due cheaper wheat from other countries.
Prospects for corn exports dimmed further this week on news that Japan, the top buyer of US corn, had bought three cargoes of Black Sea corn
Japan normally buys about 90 percent of its corn from the US and was thought to be too quality conscious to buy Black Sea grain.
US corn export sales are normally strong during November as farmers harvest a new crop. This year, export sales have hit their slowest pace since 2002.
Sales for the week ended November 20 were 465,353 tonnes, the 5th week in a row that sales have been below 500,000 tonnes, according to USDA data released on Friday (Nov 28, 2008).
US soy export sales last week were nearly 800,000 tonnes down 14 percent from the prior 4-week average but still considered a large amount by traders.
China, the world's top importer of soy and the number 1 market for US. supplies, bought 654,100 tonnes, bringing its total purchases to 8.9 million tonnes.
An unspecified destination cancelled 245,000 tonnes, USDA said.
Half of all US soy exports in the marketing year that started September 1 have gone to China, compared with the normal one third of sales.
And physical shipments have exceeded 1 million tonnes for 6 weeks in a row with about 75 percent of all supplies this week headed for China.
Chinese soy processors are importing US soy because government buying for state reserves has driven up domestic prices.
Wheat has struggled lately against cheaper Black Sea grain and posted 438,618 tonnes in sales last week.
However, total wheat sales are running head of the 5-year average due to strong sales early in the season when there were concerns about the crops in the Southern hemisphere.