Export Sales Disappointing

U.S. export sales of corn, soybeans and wheat for the week ending Aug. 23 were all considered disappointing by grain traders. Soybean sales in particular fell short of trade expectations.

USDA pegged net weekly soybean export commitments at 10.4 million bushels, including 7.6 million for the 2001-2002 marketing year. That compared with trade expectations for 16-22 million bushels.

Net weekly corn export commitments were put by USDA at 33.5 million bushels, which was near the low end of trade expectations. That included bookings of 26.8 million bushels for 2001-2002.

USDA put net weekly export sales commitments for U.S. wheat at 17.4 million bushels, versus trade expectations for 15-22 million. That sales total was disappointing, though, in view the fact it included previously announced sales to Egypt and Jordan.

Actual wheat export shipments for 2001-2002 to date lag the year-earlier pace by 20% and are over 30% below the five-year average for this point of the marketing year.

Don’t Count On Early Farm Bill

Our contacts in Washington D.C. tell us the odds of a new farm bill being in place ahead of the 2002 crop year are slim, despite the efforts of the House Agriculture Committee to rush legislation through early.

You also shouldn’t count on the final farm bill looking too much like that committee’s proposal. The word is that Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the ranking Republican on the Senate Ag Committee, still intends to do everything he can to make sure the new farm bill is not rushed and is done right.

Watch for Lugar to come out with his own proposal, which could be significantly different than what’s on the table right now. Conservation is still likely to play a big role in the new farm bill.

Editors note: Richard Brock, Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.