More About the Export Sales Reporting Program
USDA's Export Sales Reporting Program monitors U.S. agricultural export sales on a daily and weekly basis. Export sales reporting provides a constant stream of up-to-date market information regarding international sales of major U.S. agricultural commodities. A single statistic reveals the significance of the program: in a typical year, the program monitors more than 40 percent of total U.S. agricultural exports.
The program also serves as an early alert on the possible impact foreign sales may have on U.S. supplies and prices. The weekly U.S. Export Sales report is the most current available source of U.S. export sales data. The data are used to analyze the overall level of export demand, determine where markets exist, and assess the relative position of U.S. commodities in foreign markets.
Why the Program was Created
The Export Sales Reporting Program has its roots in the unexpected purchase of large amounts of grain by the Soviet Union in 1972. Termed “the Great Russian Grain Robbery,” the huge, unanticipated purchases of U.S. wheat and corn that year depleted U.S. reserve stocks and caused a sizable run-up in U.S. food prices.
Furthermore, there was growing concern that some companies might have an unfair advantage in situations like this because they had access to market-sensitive information that was unavailable to the public. To ensure that all parties involved in the production and export of U.S. grain had access to up-to-date export sales information, Congress mandated the Export Sales Reporting Program in 1973.
Before the program was established, it was difficult for the public to obtain information on export sales until the products were actually shipped. The program helps facilitate price stability by guaranteeing that everyone has access to the same information at the same time.
How the Program Works
The commodities covered by the Export Sales Reporting Program have been selected for monitoring by Congressional action or through consultations between USDA and organizations that represent commodity producers and traders. The Secretary of Agriculture has the authority to add any commodity to the list of those monitored.
U.S. exporters provide information on the quantity of their sales transactions, the type and class of commodity, the marketing year of the shipment, and the ultimate destination. They also report any changes to previously reported information, such as cancellations or changes in destinations.
Approximately 500 exporters report on a weekly basis online or via fax or e-mail, with approximately 1,800 data entries each week. All data remains confidential, as required by law, and is released only in aggregate form.
Accessing the Information
FAS reports daily sales to the public at 9 a.m. ET on the business day after the exporter reports to FAS. Weekly sales are reported every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. The information is released via the FAS website at www.fas.usda.gov, via Twitter @USDAForeignAg, and via email to registered subscribers.
To receive the daily and weekly reports via email, please register at: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAFAS/subscriber/new
Detailed historical data are available through the Export Sales Query System at: http://apps.fas.usda.gov/esrquery/