US weekly corn net export sales soar 88.8% on week, top market expectations


US net export sales of old and new crop corn totaled 992,535 mt in the week that ended August 24, up 88.8% from 525,672 mt in the previous week, Department of Agriculture data showed Thursday.

Market expectations were for USDA total weekly export sales to be between 400,000 mt and 900,000 mt, a source said.

Net export corn sales for the current marketing year -- the old crop -- rose 84% week on week to 188,368 mt, while net export corn sales for the coming marketing year -- the new crop -- rose to 804,167 mt from 423,322 mt in the previous week, the USDA said in its weekly export report.

This is the season, just ahead of the US corn harvest, when global buyers start to turn their attention from South America to the US, a market participant said. In addition, low corn prices and a weak US dollar index are helping US exports to become more competitive in general.

Since the current marketing year began on September 1, 2016, total commitments -- cumulative exports plus outstanding sales -- equaled 56.764 million mt, up 13% year on year and 38.5% above the five-year average, and already 100.4% of USDA's 56.518 million mt projection for the current marketing year, the agency said in its penultimate weekly export sales report for the ongoing marketing year.

The export sales pace is ahead of the USDA forecast for the current marketing year, agency data showed.

Outstanding export sales of US corn -- product sold but not yet shipped -- for the current marketing year through the most recent week totaled 2.064 million mt, 54% below the same period last year and 20.9% below the average for the past five years, the USDA said.

The top buyers in the most recent week were Japan with 83,835 mt of old crop and 94,544 mt of new crop corn, Mexico with 10,586 mt of old crop and 159,804 mt of new crop corn and Guatemala with 37,420 mt of old crop and 114,904 mt of new crop corn.

The top buyers in the current marketing year are Mexico at 13.952 million mt, Japan at 12.186 million mt, South Korea at 5.717 million mt and Colombia at 4.392 million mt, the data show.

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.


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