Wheat Market: U.S. Export Sales Pace Remains Strong
Seven months into marketing year 2020/21, USDA currently forecasts total U.S. wheat exports will reach 26.8 million metric tons (MMT), which, if realized, would be 2% more than 2019/20 and 7% more than the 5-year average. As of Dec. 24, U.S. wheat commercial sales are 9% ahead of last year’s pace at 20.6 MMT, led by hard red winter (HRW), hard red spring (HRS) and white wheat (soft and hard).
Total HRW sales of 7.10 MMT are 3% ahead of last year and are 7% ahead of the 5-year average as significantly increased exports to Nigeria and China more than offset reduced sales to Mexico, the largest market for HRW.
Current sales to Nigeria of 758,000 metric tons (MT) are up 30% on the year due to greater export elevation capacity out of the Texas Gulf compared to other U.S. export terminals. While exporters in the Center Gulf and Pacific Northwest (PNW) have to balance massive commodity export programs, which makes it comparatively more expensive to elevate wheat, exporters in the Texas Gulf have fewer commodities and lower volumes to balance, making it easier and less expensive to elevate and ship HRW.
As of Dec. 24, China has purchased 1.12 MMT of HRW after no purchases in 2019/20. Strong HRW export sales so far in 2020/21 can be attributed to the Phase One agreement between the United States and China. So far in MY 2020/21, China is the second largest market for HRW behind Mexico.
Export sales to Mexico are down 8% on the year at 1.65 MMT due to volatility in the value of the peso and significantly reduced restaurant demand following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Total HRS export sales of 5.78 MMT are 9% ahead of this time last year and are 4% ahead of the 5-year average. Sales to the Philippines and Japan, the top two markets for HRS, are up 5% and 6% respectively on competitive prices and increased focus on food stability following the COVID-19 outbreak, says the trade.
Export sales to China, now the third largest market for HRS, are up more than 700% on the year at 518,000 MT following the Phase One trade agreement.
Total U.S. white wheat sales, represented mainly by soft white (SW) wheat, are 47% ahead of this time in 2019/20 at 5.52 MMT and are 49% ahead of the 5-year average. In the Philippines, the largest market for U.S. SW, export sales are up 5% from this time last year and 29% from the 5-year average on competitive SW prices compared to other classes of U.S. wheat.
January 7, 2021
By Claire Hutchins, USW Market Analyst
12:11 - 10/01/2021 / Number : 18156 / Show Count : 167