The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its first tranche of weekly Foreign Ag Service (FAS) export data in six weeks on January 31st. The data for the week ending December 20thshowed that Mexico had purchased about 167,000 tonnes of U.S soybeans while exports made shipments totaling 103,000 tonnes over the same week. This latest update brings current outstanding sales for the 2018/19 marketing year to 2.365 million tonnes versus just 881,000 tonnes during the same week in 2017. Not only have unshipped sales blown past last year’s totals for late-December, accumulated exports for the 2018/19 marketing year of 1.546 million tonnes are well ahead of 1.222 million tonnes the same week in 2017.
While much of the market’s attention has been focused on ongoing trade discussions with China, Japan, and the European Union, the U.S. soybean market appears to be benefiting from the fruits of the recently formed U.S. Mexico – Canada –Agreement (USMCA) that has been agreed to by leaders of the three North American countries. By maintaining favorable relations with our neighbor to the south, U.S. soybeans will continue to feed the expanding protein needs of Mexican livestock producers.