China top weekly buyer of U.S. pork

The USDA says China bought U.S. ag goods during the week ending August
8th, but also canceled on some previously purchased commodities. This activity
all occurred during a week in which tariff tensions between the U.S. and China
flared up again and China officially suspended purchases of U.S. ag goods.
China bought more than 10,000 tons of U.S. pork, along with cotton, and old
crop sorghum, but canceled on new crop sorghum and more than 400,000 tons of
old crop U.S. soybeans. China also canceled on old crop U.S. corn, while buying
an equal amount of new crop. Japan was the week’s biggest buyer of beef, corn,
soybean meal, and wheat, the second leading buyer of pork, and also bought U.S.
rice. and soybeans. The USDA’s next set of supply and demand estimates is out
September 12th.

Overall, weekly sales of wheat were towards the high end of analysts’ expectations, while corn, soybeans, and soybean products were below pre-report estimates. Physical shipments of wheat remain ahead of what’s needed weekly to meet USDA projections for the current marketing year, but beans, corn, and sorghum fell short of their respective marks. The 2019/20 marketing year for wheat got underway June 1st.  2018/19 runs through the end of August for corn, sorghum, and soybeans and the end of September for soybean products.

Wheat came out at 462,200 tons (17.0 million bushels), down 5% from the week ending August 1st and 2% lower than the four-week average. Japan purchased 106,700 tons and South Korea bought 106,200 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 126,500 tons. About two months into the 2019/20 marketing year, wheat sales are 361.9 million bushels, compared to 305.6 million in 2018/19. Sales of 12,300 tons (500,000 bushels) for 2020/21 delivery were to unknown destinations (7,500 tons) and the Leeward and Windward Islands (4,800 tons).

Corn was reported at 56,100 tons (2.2 million bushels), 32% higher than the previous week, but 56% lower than the four-week average. Japan picked up 107,000 tons and Mexico purchased 86,000 tons, but unknown destinations canceled on 151,300 tons and China canceled on 60,000 tons. With less than a month left in the 2018/19 marketing year, corn sales are 1.968 billion bushels, compared to 2.370 billion late in 2017/18. Sales of 307,600 tons (12.1 million bushels) for 2019/20 delivery were mainly to Mexico (80,300 tons), unknown destinations (79,300 tons), and China (60,000 tons).

Sorghum sales were 35,400 tons (1.4 million bushels), 9% less than the
week before, but significantly more than the four-week average. China bought
78,800 tons and Japan picked up 10,500 tons, but unknown destinations canceled
on 55,000 tons. Cumulative sorghum sales are 68.0 million bushels, compared to
199.9 million a year ago. Net reductions of 25,000 tons (1.0 million bushels)
followed a cancellation by China.

Rice was pegged at 46,700 tons. Costa Rica purchased 18,900 tons and Mexico bought 8,900 tons. A week into the 2019/20 marketing year, rice sales are 733,200 tons, compared to 367,000 early in 2018/19.

Soybeans had a net reduction of 109,900 tons (-4.0 million bushels). The Netherlands picked up 127,000 tons and Pakistan purchased 71,400 tons, but China canceled on 422,700 tons and unknown destinations canceled on 124,000 tons. So far, this marketing year, soybean sales are 1.788 billion bushels, compared to 2.154 billion this time last year. Sales of 817,400 tons (30.0 million bushels) for 2019/20 delivery were primarily to unknown destinations (586,000 tons) and Mexico (104,400 tons).

Soybean meal came out at 130,100 tons, up 41% from the prior week and 45% from the four-week average. Japan bought 55,500 tons and Ecuador picked up 31,600 tons, while unknown destinations canceled on 45,000 tons. For the marketing year to date, soybean meal sales are 11,806,600 tons, compared to 12,238,700 a year ago. Sales of 144,200 tons for 2019/20 delivery were mostly to the Philippines (136,500 tons) and Canada (5,500 tons).

Soybean oil hit a marketing year low at 1,400 tons. Mexico purchased 800 tons and Canada bought 500 tons. 2018/19 soybean oil sales are 877,000 tons, compared to 1,031,800 late in 2017/18.

Upland cotton was reported at 329,100 bales. Bangladesh picked up 120,400 bales and Vietnam purchased 76,700 bales. The USDA also reported a cancellation of 13,300 bales by China, but also the sale of 151,200 bales to China. 2019/20 cotton sales are 7,774,700 bales, compared to 8,322,800 in 2018/19.

Net beef sales totaled 16,200 tons, 27% lower than the previous week, but 3% higher than the four-week average. The listed buyers were Japan (5,300 ton), Mexico (2,600 tons), Taiwan (2,000 tons), Hong Kong (1,800 tons), and South Korea (1,300 tons). Sales of 100 tons for 2020 delivery were to Japan.

Net pork sales totaled 20,400 tons, an increase of 48% on the week and 25% from the four-week average. The reported purchasers were China (10,200 tons), Japan (4,400 tons), Mexico (2,600 tons), South Korea (1,700 tons), and the Philippines (700 tons), with a reduction for Canada (400 tons).