Mixed Signals from Agricultural Exports

October 31, 2023

Exports of main agricultural commodities made big weekly changes for wheat and soybeans; corn remained unchanged. 


Wheat exports fell on 1 year low, prices remained below $6 mark

  • Weekly exports recorded the biggest drop in 1 year, decreasing by -253,498 tons. The total shipments for the week ending October 19th were totaled 131,587 tons.
  • The USDA downwardly revised global production forecasts for the current marketing year as lower output in Australia, Kazakhstan, and Ethiopia offset more abundant harvests in the United States.
  • Prices were also lifted by persistent concerns that Ukraine may be unable to export its incoming crops, as Russian military forces repeatedly target Ukraine’s grain silos and port infrastructure.
  • On the other hand, soaring export expectations from Russia continued to pressure global wheat benchmarks and kept US wheat prices 25% lower year-to-date.




Stable corn exports, but prices lowered amid increased supply expectations


  • Corn exports fell below 500k tons after August 17th, totaling 483,692 tons.
  • Corn futures in the US edged below $4.8 per bushel, not far from the nearly 3-year low touched at the start of September, as heavy rains in drought-hit agricultural regions of Argentina facilitated corn planting and boosted the supply prospects.
  • The latest USDA report indicated that the US corn harvest progress stood at 59%, in line with expectations and surpassing the five-year averages. This comes on the back of weaker shipments to China since the latter opted to increase its sourcing from Brazil.
  • China has secured about 780,000 tons of U.S. corn for 2023-24 compared with 3.4 million tons at this point a year ago and nearly 12 million tons two years ago.




Soaring soybeans exports, harvest in line with consensus

  • U.S. soybean export inspections have seen an increase due to robust shipments to China, according to the Department of Agriculture data. The total shipments for the week ending on October 19th amounted to 2.4 million tons, up from 394,177 tons from the previous week.
  • This was the third consecutive weekly increase in soybeans exports.
  • Soybeans futures have fallen below the $13 per bushel mark due to progress in the Midwest harvest and the promising outlook for much-needed rainfall in important global grain-producing regions.
  • In addition to the improved weather conditions, American farmers have made significant progress in their soybean harvest.
  • According to the USDA’s weekly report released last week, they have completed 75% of the soybean harvest. This is in line with market expectations and is ahead of the typical harvest rates based on the five-year average.