Russian wheat export prices have fallen slightly recently, based on an improved outlook for the upcoming harvest. That could help to boost the normal surge in wheat loadings, which usually takes place in July. Russian loadings are 11,191 Mt/d so far this month, which is up from 6,575 Mt/d in May. Last year, loadings surged in July to 79,367 Mt/d from just 8,540 Mt/d in June.
At the half-way point of the month, wheat discharges in the Middle East and North Africa regions are 39,154 Mt/d so far, which is -10% from a year ago. Egypt offloaded 9,674 Mt/d to date, which is down from 15,408 Mt/d in June last year. Some countries are discharging more than last year, however, including Morocco and Iran. They imported 8,993 Mt/d and 4,402 Mt/d respectively so far this month, which is up 58% and 83% respectively from a year ago.
MENA’s imports from Ukraine are up 41% this month from a year ago, to 11,558 Mt/d, but is countered by a decline of 43% from Russia, which delivered 6,923 Mt/d so far this month. Supplies from Russia may increase as the month progresses, as Russian exports are 12,135 Mt/d and up 42% from a year ago. Ukrainian exports are 48% lower so far, at a much lower 3,271 Mt/d. Wheat exports from both countries usually pick up strongly starting in July.
Corn exports from Ukraine and Russia have tracked closely to year-ago levels recently. Loadings were 67,195 Mt/d in May, and down slightly from the 69,564 Mt/d loaded a year ago. China receives the bulk of the corn from the two countries, followed by the Netherlands, Spain and Egypt.
The US exported 213,252 Mt/d of corn in May, or 43% above a year ago. Stresses on US crops are continuing amid hot and dry weather, and another cut in USDA corn & bean ratings is possible next week. Uncertainty over drought prospects are keeping prices elevated, but more favorable weather is possible as the summer progresses. The NWS projects equal chances of above- or below-normal temperatures across most of the US corn belt through August, which could set up for favorable export numbers in coming months.
US exports may be counted on to a larger degree by countries such as Japan, which receives large quantities from both the US and Brazil. The US accounts for most of Japan’s corn supply until July or August, when Brazil takes over. Brazilian corn exports usually show small numbers in May and June before ramping up considerably in July. But there are some worries over the size of the Brazilian crop this year, and there have not been any exports since April’s 3,055 Mt/d. There were 21,502 Mt/d exported last June, and 120,382 Mt/d in July.
Chinese soybean imports in May were 305,283 Mt/d, which were up 52% from April, but down 7% from a year ago. Brazil accounted for 96% of the total, or 294,231 Mt/d, and should continue to be the largest provider until the US crop is harvested beginning in September. Argentina also provides soybeans to China, but numbers from that country don’t usually pick up until July. Even at their strongest levels, however, imports from Argentina are relatively small compared to imports from Brazil or the US.
Argentinian exports of corn, wheat and soybeans fell 20,341 Mt, or 16%, in May versus to April. The drop compares to an increase of 6% in the same month a year ago. Corn accounted for the bulk of the decline, with exports falling by 33,568 Mt on the month. That was countered by an increase in soybean exports of 13,133 Mt, and a gain in wheat of 28 Mt. The two worker strikes at the port of Rosario, along with low water levels in the Parana River, were largely to blame for the drop in May exports.