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Shipments ahead of pace, rapidly losing ground

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) weekly Export Inspections report showed  exports slipping, following a seemingly exceptional start to the year. Zaner Ag Hedge market strategist Brian Grossman says Monday’s report was “not bad, but not worth getting excited over.”

“Corn came in a little over one-million metric tonnes. (It’s) not an improvement from last week, but as an average, we’re seeing the improvement,” Grossman said. “The problem with corn is it’s not reaching our weekly requirement. We need to be seeing 1.4 million metric tonnes or higher, if we want to have hope of getting caught up.”

Export inspections for soybeans came in shy of 900,000. China did not play as big of a role in this market compared to weeks past. Grossman says, “We’ll see what next week brings with recent purchases they’ve had.”

Corn and soybean exports still have time to catch up, as the marketing year ends in late August. Grossman goes over the factors standing in the way of grain exports.

“On March 1, we were around 27,000 metric tonnes on soybeans and corn. For corn, that is well below average,” Grossman said. “We had not excellent, but phenomenal exports early on in the season because Brazil had a drought. Everybody was coming to the U.S market for their corn. However, we’ve not been able to keep that pace. This is also the time frame where we should be seeing the highest volume of corn moving and we’re not. I think that is largely contributed to Brazil having a good corn crop coming and a much stronger U.S. dollar than competitive currencies.”