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US Grain Exports-Corn sales jump to 5-week high as prices dip
September 13, 2012 / 5:06 PM / 5 years ago

US Grain Exports-Corn sales jump to 5-week high as prices dip

* Corn sales up from recent lows, remain below year ago
    * Price retreat from record highs attracted corn buyers
    * Soybean sales below forecasts, high prices hurt demand

    By Karl Plume
    Sept 13 (Reuters) - U.S. corn export sales jumped to a
five-week high last week as a price dip lured some regular
buyers back to the market after weeks of dismal purchases, but
overall sales remained a fraction of the typical pace,
government data on Thursday showed.
    The worst U.S. drought in 56 years decimated the corn crop
in the world's largest producer and exporter and propelled
prices to record highs last month, forcing importers to ration
demand or seek out cheaper corn from other suppliers or
alternative feed grains, analysts said.
    Net soybean export sales were lower than expected due to
lofty prices and as many importers, including top buyer China,
have forward-booked many of their purchases already, they said
following the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly export
sales report.
    "A lot of buyers, particularly China, have been holding on
the sidelines waiting for corn prices to fall. They're also
looking at feed wheat," said Rich Nelson, chief strategist at
Allendale Inc.
    "In soybeans, we've seen China slack off in buying in the
past 2-1/2 weeks so perhaps we're reaching a point where Chinese
buyers are noting that their domestic supplies from government
sales are cheaper than imports," he said.
    After peaking at $8.49 per bushel in early August, benchmark
December corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade have
retreated on slowing demand and increased harvest-time supplies,
hitting a three-week low below $8 last week.
    However, CBOT soybean futures remained strong last week,
with the November contract hitting a high of nearly $18 a
    Net corn export sales in the week that ended Sept. 6 totaled
about 428,300 tonnes for shipments in all marketing years, USDA
data showed, near the high end of forecasts for 350,000 to
450,000 tonnes.
    But the total was well below the 1.168 million tonnes in
sales reported in the same week a year ago.
    USDA also reported nearly 1.7 million tonnes in sales that
were carried over from the 2011/12 marketing year, which ended
Aug. 31, to the 2012/13 marketing year.
    Year-to-date corn export sales for the 2012/13 marketing
year rose to 9.783 million tonnes, 26 percent behind forward
sales by the same date a year ago. USDA is currently forecasting
a 19 percent year-on-year decline in corn exports.
    Net combined-marketing-year soybean export sales last week
reached 570,000 tonnes, below forecasts for 600,000 to 750,000
tonnes. More than 2 million tonnes in sales were carried over
from the 2011/12 to 2012/13, USDA said.
    Year-to-date sales of soybeans for 2012/13 shipment totaled
20.385 million tones, 43 percent above a year ago and 71 percent
of the current USDA full-season forecast for 28.71 tonnes in
   * USDA export sales data             
   * U.S. corn weekly export sales      
   * U.S. soybean weekly export sales   
   * U.S. wheat weekly export sales     
   * U.S. weekly export sales

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