USDA did not adjust 2022/23 corn exports in the February WASDE, contrary to expectations of market watchers tracking the weekly shipment progress. Weekly exports still lag the average level needed to hit the target, however, so we may see a reduction in the March WASDE.

Top destination Mexico is average to above average in terms of purchases and shipments, and outstanding sales are on the high side. Good demand from Mexico cannot offset loss of trade with other usual partners, though: Japan, for example, had only 2.5 MMT in total commitments through Feb. 9 for 2022/23 corn, down 61 percent from total commitments at this time last year. If Japan remains on the sidelines, USDA’s current forecast feels like a hard reach.

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