For the week ending Aug. 8, total inspections of grain (corn, wheat, and soybeans) for export from all major U.S. export regions was 2.41 million metric tons (mmt), the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today. This represents a 12% increase from the previous week, unchanged from last year, and 4% below the three-year average.

The increase in inspections was primarily driven by a 66% rise in wheat inspections, the USDA said in its weekly Grain Transportation Report (GTR). Wheat shipments increased primarily to Asian destinations. Week-to-week inspections of corn increased 9%, but soybean inspections decreased 9% for the same period, according to the GTR. Inspections of grain in the Mississippi Gulf increased 17% from the previous week, and inspections in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) increased 10%.

Lower Production and Exports Forecasted by USDA in 2019/20

USDA’s August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) and Crop Production forecasts that U.S. farmers will produce 19.6 billion bushels of corn, soybeans, and wheat in 2019/20. This is less than 1% below the previous month’s projection, but 6% lower than last year, according to the the GTR. USDA projects 2% less total grain supplies (including beginning stocks, production, and imports), which could mean less demand for grain transportation in the new marketing year.

States with the largest drop in production from last year in million bushels (mbu) are: Illinois (-576 mbu), North Dakota (-380 mbu), Ohio (-325 mbu), and South Dakota (-321 mbu). USDA expects domestic use of corn, soybeans, and wheat will mirror last year, but exports will drop 4%, the USDA said.