U.S. soybean exports have been brisk — as of mid-October they totaled 412 million bu. But corn sales have lagged and may not meet the government's annual projections, says Bill Tierney, Kansas State University ag economist.

This year's soybean crop outpaced last year's 361 million and was well above the 25-year mid-October average of 288 million bu. Although soybean sales are active, they have not translated to higher prices. That's because of this year's record-large U.S. production and possible record-South American output.

“November soybean futures fell 60¢/bu from early September to late October, and have come within a nickel of testing the life-of-contract lows that were set in late April,” Tierney says.

Corn exports, as of mid-October, lagged year-earlier and average sales, Tierney says. At 517 million bu, corn export commitments were 48 million bu less than last year's and below the 25-year mid-October average of 609 million bu.