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U.S. Corn Sales Break Records
USAgNet - 03/19/2018

U.S. corn merchants have sold in excess of 650 million bushels since early January, shockingly more than usual for any time of year, and the demand prospects continue to look good as of mid-March with the U.S. product plentiful and attractively priced. According to Reuters, this comes despite earlier doubts from industry analysts that the 2017-18 U.S. export campaign could be as successful as the prior year amid increasing competition from South America and relatively elevated global stocks.

The 650 million bushels of corn sold within the nine weeks ended March 8 represent more than a quarter of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual target of 2.225 billion bushels. It is also the largest-ever volume of net U.S. corn sales for a nine-week period since records began in 1990.

Just two months ago, USDA's forecast called for a much more modest 1.925 billion bushels of corn to be shipped during the 2017-18 marketing year, which would have represented a 16 percent decline from the previous year.

But things are certainly looking up as of late, and USDA has recognized it with a pretty historic adjustment. If the trend continues, USDA will likely need to lift the annual target again in the coming months, which could help bring domestic year-end supply near or below 2 billion bushels, reports Reuters.

At the beginning of the 2017/18 marketing year on Sept. 1, sales were sluggish and the hopes for U.S. corn exports were looking fairly bleak relative to the prior year. Late in September, total net sales were about 35 percent behind where they were a year earlier.

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