U.S. soybean exports picked up pace significantly in the first week of October, offering evidence that U.S. shipping of the 2021-22 marketing year crop is recovering from delays caused by damages to barges, elevators, ports and other infrastructure on the Mississippi River by Hurricane Ida more than a month ago.

“The weekly shipments that we have here are certainly exciting to see,” said Mac Marshall, vice president of market intelligence at the United Soybean Board and U.S. Soybean Export Council. “The disruptions that we saw earlier on in the marketing year appear to be alleviating, enabling some return to normalcy.”

Exporters put a lot of soybeans on ships from Oct. 1-7, according to the latest trade data released Friday by the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. The U.S. shipped about 1.7 million tons of soybeans to foreign buyers — mostly to China — in the first week of the month. That’s an 82% increase from the previous week.

Of that export total, nearly 1.3 million tons were shipped to China. The U.S. also shipped 71,500 tons to Taiwan, 68,900 tons to Mexico, 68,000 tons to the Netherlands and 57,400 tons to Bangladesh.

The first week of October was also a big week for soybean sales to foreign buyers.

U.S. exporters contracted to sell more than 1.1 million metric tons of U.S. soybeans to foreign buyers from Oct. 1-7, a 10% increase from the final week of September and a 9% jump from the average of the previous four weeks, according to the FAS report. Of that weekly total, more than half — 640,000 tons — was sold to Chinese buyers.

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“This is a great sign, especially as there have been concerns about the impact of energy prices on the Chinese crush and demand,” said Marshall.

Export sales of U.S. soybeans have continued to be strong since that first week of the month, according to daily sales reports, including announcements Friday. FAS reported announced Friday sales of 722,750 tons to “unknown destinations” as well as a sale of 132,000 tons to Chinese buyers. All of the sales are for delivery in the current 2021-22 marketing year.

Other daily export sales announcements this week include a Thursday announcement for 132,000 tons sold to “unknown destinations and announcements Wednesday for 330,000 tons sold to China and another 198,000 tons sold to “unknown destinations.”

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