Houston-US net export sales of current crop and next crop corn totaled 1.228 million mt in the week that ended August 16, down 11.3% from 1.384 million mt in the previous week, Department of Agriculture data showed Thursday.
Market expectations were for total weekly export sales of between 900,000 mt and 1.500 million mt.
Since the current marketing year began September 1, total commitments -- cumulative exports plus outstanding sales -- are up to 60.434 million mt, up 7% year on year and 36.3% above the five-year average.
The total is up to 99.1% of the USDA's 60.963 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 5.709 million mt, 100% above the total at the same point last year and 54.8% above the average for the past five years, the USDA said.
The top corn buyers in the most recent week were Mexico with 380,669 mt, comprising 100,499 mt for the current crop and 280,220 mt for the next crop; Japan with 193,032 mt, consisting of 131,032 mt for the current crop and 62,000 mt for the next crop; and Israel with 109,484 mt, 54,484 mt for the current crop and 55,000 mt for the next crop.
The top buyers in the current marketing year are Mexico at 15.323 million mt, Japan at 11.894 million mt, South Korea at 5.913 million mt and Colombia at 4.876 million mt, the data show.
Net sales are considered a more appropriate indicator of the strength of the corn market than physical exports because they reflect new sales.
The outstanding export sales are considered an indicator of the strength of the New Orleans CIF in barges corn market.
Corn is the primary feedstock for ethanol production in the US and is the main competitor for dried distillers grains.