Wheat export signs have perked up on both side of the Atlantic.
European Union soft wheat exports for the first seven days of the month reached 335,000 tonnes – up from 18,000 tonnes the week before, if of course hardly huge by historical standards.
Indeed, EU soft wheat exports so far this season, at 7.01m tonnes, remain down 25% year on year.
For the US, meanwhile, export sales in the week to November 2 soared to 781,700 tonnes, the highest of 2017-18 (which starts in June in the US).
Sure, that included the 450,000 tonnes destined for Iraq, and previously reported. But it was well above trade estimates, of at best 550,000 tonnes all in, nonetheless.
By class hard red winter wheat came out particularly well, with sales of 509,100 tonnes, reflecting the Iraq order, with hard red spring wheat on 153,700 tonnes, and Chicago–traded soft red winter wheat on 44,600 tonnes – not huge, but a large uplift nonetheless on the week-before figure.
The question is whether demand will prove sustainable, with the week to November 2 one in which Chicago futures for December set a contract low of $4.16 ¼ a bushel, but currently stand 3.7% higher.
Huge corn order
The USDA data also showed monster US corn export sales, of 2.36m tonnes for this season, the biggest in a single week since January 2008.
The trade reflected a huge Mexican order also already reported through the USDA’s daily alerts system. Even so, the figure topped by a distance a market estimate of at best 1.60m tonnes.
US soybean export sales in the latest week, at 1.16m tonnes, were more disappointing, falling below expectations of 1.30m-1.80m tonnes.
"Large carries in the futures market and loading delays in October due to weather, low river levels in the east [Midwest] and harvest delays in the west have contributed to the slow pace," said Benson Quinn Commodities.
Indeed, "competitive offers still coming from Brazil have trade looking for USDA to lower export demand for 2017-18", potentially in the Wasde report later on Thursday.