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US corn net export sales fall 20% on week, but stay above market expectations

Sao Paulo — US net export sales for the 2017-18 marketing year corn crop totaled 1.245 million mt in the week ended December 21, down 20% from 1.558 million mt the previous week, Department of Agriculture data showed Friday.

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Market expectations were for USDA weekly export sales to be between 600,000 mt and 1.1 million mt, a source said. "The market needs a lot more weeks like that to exceed the current USDA forecast [for exports this season]," a second source said.

USDA said net export sales were up 28% from the prior four-week average.

Since the current marketing year began September 1, total commitment -- cumulative exports plus outstanding sales -- totals 26.57 million mt.



The current total is 54% of the USDA's 48.898 million mt projection for the current marketing year.

Outstanding export sales of US corn -- product sold, but not yet shipped -- for the current marketing year through the most recent week totaled 16.569 million mt, 15% below the same period last year.

Net sales are considered a more appropriate indicator of the strength of the corn market than physical exports because they reflect new sales.

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

--Gustavo Bonato, gustavo.bonato@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jason Lindquist, jason.lindquist@spglobal.com