US net export sales of corn for both old crop and new crop for the current and next marketing year totaled 507,810 mt in the week ended July 18, up 52% from the previous week, Department of Agriculture data showed Thursday.
Of that total, 121,196 mt were for the current 2018-19 marketing year ,or the old crop, and 386,614 mt were for the next 2019-20 marketing year, or the new crop, the weekly export sales report data showed.
Market expectations for the net export sales total were between 250,000 mt and 700,000 mt, sources said. Expectations were for between 150,000 mt and 400,000 mt for the 2018-19 marketing year, and between 100,000 and 300,000 mt for the 2017-18 marketing year.
The weekly US corn export net sale for the current 2018-19 marketing year “were down 39 percent from the previous week and 59 percent from the prior 4-week average,” the USDA said
“Another USDA reduction in corn exports seems likely in the August 12 report,” a market participant said.
Since the 2018-19 marketing year began on September 1, total commitments — cumulative exports plus outstanding sales — have reached 49.742 million mt, down 16% year on year and 4% below the five-year average. That total was up to 93% of the USDA’s 53.343 million mt recently updated projection for the 2018-19 marketing year.
USDA’s export projection in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report was cut from the 55.883 million mt level July 11, having been cut monthly since it was 62.233 million mt on April 9. USDA said has been cutting its projection based on reduced US price competitiveness and current outstanding sales.
Outstanding export sales of US corn – product sold but not yet shipped – for the current marketing year through the most recent week totaled 4.456 million mt, 55% below the total at the same point last year and 44% below the five-year average, the USDA said.
The outright Platts corn CIF New Orleans in barges prices, for front-month delivery, dropped 31.75 cents to $4.8150/bu in the period of July 12-18, while CBOT front-month corn futures fell 25 cents to $4.2450/bu.
The top corn buyers in the most recent week for deliveries in the current marketing year were Japan with 65,230 mt, Mexico with 46,531 mt and Colombia with 32,189 mt.
The top buyers in the current marketing year have been Mexico at 15.324 million mt, Japan at 12.595 million mt, Colombia at 4.670 million mt and South Korea at 3.697 million mt, the data showed.
Since the beginning of the marketing year, 568,519 mt of US corn has been committed for unknown destinations, including this week’s cancellation of previous sales of 30,001 mt, USDA 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.
The outstanding export sales are considered an indicator of the strength of the New Orleans CIF barges corn market.
Corn is the primary feedstock for ethanol production in the US and is the main competitor for dried distillers grains.