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As it turned out, export sales were more of a treat than a trick for the final week of October.  While all were within the ranges of expectations, wheat, corn, and beans all posted solid increases.  Looking first as wheat, we sold 400,100 MT or 14.7 million bushels.  This was 49% higher than the prior week and 4% above the 4-week average.  Mexico accounted for 26% of the total by purchasing 101.4k MT, followed by South Korea, for 50k, and Taiwan taking 48.4k.  Corn sales jumped 37% over the previous week coming in at 1,223,800 MT or 48.2 million bushels.  This figure was 10% ahead of the 4-week average.   As with wheat, Mexico was the largest purchaser, accounting for 55% of the total or 666.3k MT, followed by Japan stepping in for 114.9k and then Guatemala taking 105.4k.  Bean sales came through towards the upper end of estimates with a net of 1,863,900 MT or 68.5 million bushels.  China accounted for 65% of the total with purchases of 1.207 MMT, followed by Mexico with 157.4k and then the Netherland taking 142.1k. Also, this morning, the USDA announced a sale of 100,000 MT of beans to Egypt.  In the meats, beef sales slipped 13% for the week, coming through at 16,700 MT bit pork sales were up 55% to 45,700 MT.  Mexico was the largest buyer (18,500 MT), but China was back in for 16,000 MT.

We only have a few more days until the release of the November reports, and trade surveys have begun to filter in.  According to the numbers I have seen thus far, the average trade estimate for corn production has settled in at 15.05 billion bushels, coming from a yield of 176.9 bpa.  This compares with 15.019 billion bushels and a yield of 176.5 on the October report.  Ending stocks are projected to come in at 1.482 billion, versus the 1.50 number last month.  In beans, the average production number is 4.483 billion bushels from a yield of 51.9 bpa.  Ending stocks are expected to total 364 million bushels compared with 320 million previously.  Wheat ending stocks are expected to come through at 581 million, which would be up 1 million from last month.  On the global scene, corn ending stocks are expected to total 301 MMT, down from 301.74 last month.  Beans at 105.5, versus 104.57 and wheat at 276.7 MMT, compared with 277.18 last month.

Weekly initial jobless claims continue to edge lower, dropping 14,000 last week to 269,000.  This sets another new post-pandemic low and was more than double than what was expected by Wall Street.

Trade figures for September were released this morning, with our deficit pushing to another new record.  We exported $207.6 billion of goods and services during the month and imported $288.5 billion, creating an $80.9 billion deficit.

While certainly well anticipated, the Federal Reserve made it official yesterday; they will begin winding down the $120 billion per month bonds purchasing program, beginning in the middle of this month.  They intend to “adjust the pace” of the tapering “if warranted by changes in the economic outlook.”  Seeing that the Fed had done a good job of warning everyone that this would likely happen at this meeting, most markets have shown little impact.  The one exception appears to be the dollar which has rallied back against recent highs this morning, and bulls appear hungry for more.