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US corn inspected for export falls 46% on year, 6% on week: USDA

Houston — The amount of US corn inspected for export in the week ended July 11 totaled 676,485 mt, down 46% from the year-ago week, US Department of Agriculture data showed Monday.

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The total in the most recent reporting period fell 6% week on week, according to the USDA's weekly Federal Grain Inspection Service report.

The largest share of US grain exports inspected last week was taken by soybeans, at 44%. Corn, at 35%, was second, followed by wheat at 16%.

In the first 313 days of the 2018-19 marketing year, the amount of US corn inspected for export totaled 43.158 million mt, 11% below the same period in the previous marketing year and 80% of the USDA's 53.343 million mt recently updated projection for the 2018-19 marketing year.

USDA's export projection in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report was cut to 55.883 million mt July 11, having been cut monthly since 62.233 million mt on April 9. USDA said has been cutting its projection based on reduced US price competitiveness and current outstanding sales.

US export shipments were below the average weekly pace needed to reach the USDA's estimate for exports in the ongoing marketing year.

The data showed the amount of US corn inspected for departure from the US Gulf Coast totaled 348,305 mt. Of that total, 343,356 was yellow corn and 4,949 mt was white corn.

The top destinations were Japan with 118,503 mt, Mexico with 86,803 mt and Colombia with 71,785 mt. All of them were for yellow corn.

The amount of US corn inspected leaving the US Pacific Coast totaled 142,99 mt of yellow corn.

The main destinations were Japan with 82,098 mt and South Korea with 60,001 mt.

Inspections of corn leaving the Interior region totaled 186,081 mt of yellow corn. The top destinations were Mexico with 173,277 mt, and Taiwan with 12,315 mt.

US corn inspected for exports is corn that has been sold and inspected during loading at export locations for shipment overseas.

Traders consider the pace needed to meet the USDA projection an indicator of demand.

The outright Platts corn CIF New Orleans in barges price, for front-month delivery, rose 15.50 cents to $5.0225/bu in the period of July 3-11, while CBOT September corn futures rose 7.50 cents to $4.4425/bu.

Strong domestic demand supported the corn CIF New Orleans basis, sources said. The Eastern Corn Belt corn basis was still firm, which made end-users pull corn from the West and the river to meet their demand.

Corn is the primary feedstock for ethanol production in the US and is the main competitor for dried distiller grains.

-- Sergio Alvarado, sergio.alvarado@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Jennifer Pedrick, newsdesk@spglobal.com