The March shipment report was released today, with 151.3 million lbs. shipped, compared to 140.6 million lbs. last year. Domestic shipments set a record again this month at 57 million lbs., compared to the previous record of 52.2 million lbs. shipped last March. Export shipments were at 94.3 million lbs., ahead of last year’s 88.4 million lbs., but still well below the record 124.1 million lbs. shipped in March 2012. Total shipments for the crop year are at 1,370.6 million lbs., a little over 4% ahead of last year.

Crop receipts just passed the 2 billion lb. mark, giving us a total supply of 2.26 billion lbs., which is 4.78% more than last year. With commitments up 7.8%, that leaves us with uncommitted inventory of 536.8 million lbs., compared to 512.8 million lbs. at the end of March 2013. Sales were robust at 116.8 million lbs., in spite of slumping prices and what felt like a sluggish market. If shipments for the remaining four months of the crop year are equal to last year, we will end up with a carryout around 340 million lbs., very similar to the 335.2 million lbs. we started the 2012-2013 crop year with. If we continue with shipments up about 4%, we will end up with around 320 million lbs., or similar to this last harvest.

Either way, it seems like a comfortable position to be in for the time being, with so many unknowns about the 2014 crop. We will gather more information in the coming months with the release of the April 24th Acreage Report, May 1st Subjective Estimate, June 30th Objective Estimate and the ongoing drought concerns. There may be some adjustments needed accordingly, but in the meantime, sellers seem willing to move more of their 2013 crop at the same levels as before the report, and buyers are reluctant to commit to anything more than they absolutely need to get by.