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Soybean sales bearish in latest USDA report

Photo by Brent Barnett

The first US Export Sales Report of 2021 had a bearish tone for soybean exports.

USDA’s latest report for the week ending December 31st showed soybean sales were well under the range of estimates at just over 116,000 metric tons. Allendale commodities broker Greg McBride says the holiday break had a lot to do with the slow movement, however, it’s something to monitor moving forward.

“The last week of the year is typically a slow week for export sales as it is,” McBride said. “This one was particularly slow. We only sold 37,000 tons of (old crop) soybeans last week. That came by way of cancellations for China. That has started to rear its ugly head. We’ve seen them move some sales from unknown to China, but now we’re also seeing them make some cancellations.”

The report showed corn, wheat, and soybean meal sales were neutral with soybean oil bearish. Corn exports totaled approximately 748,000 metric tons, down 22 percent from last week and 39 percent from the prior four-week average.

“Overall, the corn sales, wheat sales, and bean meal sales were inside of the range,” McBride said. “They were neutral, so nothing to get worried about there. But those soybean sales and where they are at were a little bit disappointing. It should maybe raise a few red flags as we start to move towards Brazil starting to harvest here over the next few weeks.”

Sorghum sales saw reductions of 300 metric tons for 2020/2021, a marketing-year low. Moving ahead, McBride says all eyes will be on USDA’s upcoming WASDE Report on Tuesday.

“That will be a big one for us,” he said. “We expect it to be bullish, but we’ve seen a lot of bull run in these markets here recently, which could lead us to be a little bit overpriced for what those actual numbers come out for next Tuesday.”

The next US Export Sales Report will be released on Thursday, January 14th. McBride’s full interview can be heard below.

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