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Cotton takes the glory in weekly export data

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Weekly wheat export data came in OK in both the European Union and US, but US cotton took the prize for the most impressive statistics.


The EU shipped 339,000 tonnes of soft wheat in the week to Tuesday, not a bumper figure, but enough to play a bit of catch-up on last season.


That is, the total exported so far in 2017-18 on a July-to-June basis reached 7.51m tonnes, a fall of 23% year on year but an improvement on the 25% pace of decline as of last week.


Hard red winter leads


For the US, wheat export sales came in at 489,300 tonnes for the week ending last Thursday, a drop of 37% from the previous week (for which data were swollen by a large sale to Iraq) but towards the higher end of market expectations of 350,000-550,000 tonnes.


Hard red winter wheat again led the pack, with sales of 240,700 tonnes, with hard red spring maintaining decent demand, of 132,300 tonnes.


But soft red winter wheat, as traded in Chicago, continued to struggle for export buyers, with sales of 19,800 tonnes.


Fibre surge


Still, the highlight of the US Department of Agriculture data was arguably the 506,700 running bales of upland cotton sold for 2017-18, on an August-to-July basis – making it the biggest week in more than two years.


And this before counting in 18,100 running bales of pima cotton, a rise of 35% week on week.


Pakistan took more than 290,000 running bales, despite the country being apparently set for a decent domestic harvest (of about 9m bales) and the reimposition of tariffs on cotton imports.


Nonetheless, if orders are large, actual completed shipments are proving slow, at 94,200 running bales for upland cotton.


Soybeans, corn


Among other major crops, soybean export sales reached 1.10m tonnes, at the bottom of the forecast range (with some traders having expected a figure of 1.50m tonnes).


The total included a hefty 662,000-tonne cut to export sales as booked under “unknown” buyers.


However, actual exports were decent, at 2.26m tonnes, standing above 2m tonnes for a fourth successive week.


However, corn export sales of 949,500 tonnes for this season came in shy of expectations of 1.20m-1.70m tonnes.

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