US weekly corn net export sales fall 19% on week, above market expectations

Source: By Platta • Posted: Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Houston (Platts)–26 Jan 2018 224 pm EST/1924 GMT

US net export sales of current and next crop corn totaled 1.531 million mt in the week that ended January 18, down 19% from 1.891 million mt in the previous week, Department of Agriculture data showed Friday.

Market expectations were for USDA total weekly export sales to be between 900,000 mt and 1.250 million mt, a source said.

The data did not account for private exporters’ sales of 506,096 mt of new crop corn the USDA revealed in separate reports Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Of total net exports sales, 1.446 million mt were for the current corn crop, and 85,063 mt were for the next corn crop, the agency said.

Weekly export sales were expected to keep showing improvement because of weakness in the US dollar, even if the weak dollar’s impact won’t be felt for one or two more weeks, sources added. “The US dollar continues to be a great promoter of better business to come,” a market participant added.

Since the current marketing year began September 1, total commitments — cumulative exports plus outstanding sales — totaled 30.401 million mt, down 22% year on year and 12.2% above the five-year average.

The current total is already 62.2% of the USDA’s 48.898 million mt projection for the current marketing year.

Outstanding export sales of US corn — product sold but not yet shipped — for the current marketing year through the most-recent week totaled 17.637 million mt, 13% below the same period last year and 23.6% above the average for the past five years, the USDA said.

The top corn buyers in the most recent week were Korea with 263,040 mt, Japan with 170,670 mt and Guatemala with 107,718 mt.

The top buyers in the current marketing year are Mexico, at 9.938 million mt; Japan, at 5.057 million mt; Colombia, at 2.171 million mt; and Peru, at 1.841 million mt, data showed.

Net sales are considered a more appropriate indicator of the strength of the corn market than physical exports because they reflect new sales.

Corn is the primary feedstock for ethanol production in the US and is the main competitor for dried distillers grains.