Weekly export sales, grain stocks, and a small grains report, all being released on the last day of the month (quarter). Is this some type of a USDA version of the Triple Witching Hour, when stock options, stock index futures, and stock index options all expire on the same day? I suspect it will not produce that type of potential volatility, but the reports undoubtedly will leave some in the trade feeling a bit cursed. If on the wrong side of the releases, they may want to change the spelling and use a B instead of a W.
First up are the export sales, which have already been released, and sales for grains continue to disappoint. For the week ending September 23rd, we sold 290,100 MT or 10.7 million bushels of wheat. This was 19% below last week and 30% under the 4-week average. Japan was the top buyer with 51.5k MT, followed by Taiwan with 49.6k and then Nigeria taking 44.7k. Corn sales slipped 1% from last week, keeping in mind that was not a great number either, and came in at 370,400 MT or 14.6 million bushels. Guatemala was at the top of the list with purchases of 138.4k MT, followed by Mexico taking 102.6k and then Canada in for 87.6k. Beans did push over the 1 million tonnes mark again with a total of 1,093,900 MT or 40.2 million bushels. China represented 71% of the total with 776.5k MT. Egypt was in second place with 92.5k MT, and then the Netherlands at 86.3k. I would note that cotton sales were quite solid at 571,400 RB, with China representing 74% of the total, and pork sales were strong again at 42,500 MT. China purchased 14,000 MT. Beef sales were flat at 16,100.
Here are the trade expectations for the subsequent two reports to be released today. September 1st corn stocks are expected to be 1.155 billion bushels, beans at 174 million, and wheat at 1.852 billion. All wheat production is estimated to come through at 1.68 billion, which would be comprised of 780 million hard red winter, 364 million soft red winter, 176 million white winter, 327 million of other spring, and 34 million durum.
We have a few economic releases this morning as well. The final numbers for the 2nd quarter Final PCE Price Index and the Core PCE were unchanged at 6.5% and 6.1%, respectively. Final Real Sales increased .2% to 8.1%, and the Final Chain-Weight Price Index was left unchanged at 6.1%. The 2nd quarter GDP was notched up 1/10th to 6.7% as was Final Personal Consumption, coming in at 12%. Disappointing news on the jobs front, though as the weekly initial jobless claimed climbed again, this time by 11,000 to 362,000. The trade was looking for a decrease of 16,000.
In the macros this morning, we find energies lower, metal higher, financial instruments and equities firm, and the dollar a touch weaker. Note that yesterday, the dollar accelerated into higher highs for the year.