The US grain export season is off to a slow start at a time when Chinese demand is high
Adverse weather has impacted the quality of soybeans and hampered the movement of barges. Both have impacted the grain export negatively. Chinese crushing margins are good at the moment, and there should thus be pent up demand as US Gulf exports have been lower than anticipated. Chinese Soybean import went up 13% YoY in September, inventory decreased and crushing margins were positive. China imported 8.45Mt of Soybean in August, which is up 10% YoY but down 16% MoM . We thus expect strong grain shipments in November and December.
The crushing margin in China is in positive and inventories are decreasing. We thus expect Chinese soybean demand to remain firm going forward.
We estimate that the U.S. exported about* 4.9Mt of grains in the first half of October based on preliminary port agent data. This is down 33% YoY and down 13% from the second half of September. We estimate soybean export of 3.5Mt, down 23% from last year but up 60% from SH-Sep. The maize export is estimated at 0.6Mt, down 64% YoY and down 61% from SH-September. The wheat export is estimated at 0.7Mt, down 27% YoY and down 58% from SH-September.
Grain export from the Atlantic basin is estimated* at 3.3Mt, down 38% YoY and down 22% from SH-September.
The export from NOPAC is estimated* at 1.6Mt, down 21% YoY but up 19% from second half of September.
*The above numbers for FH-October are based on data for the first 12 days of October prorated up to 15 days. The final numbers might be revised up as shipments that might have been missed are added and if the pace in the last 3 days differs from the pace in the first 12 days.