U.S. corn export sales remain impressive as they recover from a 42 year low last year with a mere 731 million bushels shipped overseas.
Through the end of February 2014, the USDA had sold 1.479 billion bushels of corn, 92.5% of the February 2014 WASDE projection.
This means for the final half of the 2013-14 marketing year, only 121 million more bushels need to be sold to attain the USDA projection.
This would seem to augur for an increased export projection, similar to the one proposed for soybeans that are also seeing a very strong export sales pace.
One difference however is the soybean shipment pace is also very robust while end of February corn shipments are running below the average 1986-2013 pace of 48.5% and the ten year average of 46.3%.
This graphic shows the amount of U.S. corn sold and shipped at the end of February as a percent of the USDA’s February export projection and then the amount of corn shipped from the beginning of March to the end of the marketing year August 31 in million bushels.
As reflected in the chart, total sales halfway through the marketing year as a percent of the February WASDE estimate have never been higher at 92.5%, topping the prior high of 81.4% back in the 2007/08 season.
Total shipments through the end of February total 724 million bushels and this is only 45.2% of the February WASDE figure.
This means that 876 million bushels of corn need to be shipped from the beginning of March to the end of August to attain the current USDA projection.
We acknowledge that the heavy soybean export loadings and brutal winter have slowed corn shipments but this 876 million bushels looks doable as from 2003 to 2011, U.S. export shipments the last half of the marketing year exceeded this level.
Nonetheless, as opposed to soybeans where the USDA has no choice except to increase export projections, they have no compelling need right now to do the same thing in corn.
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