When traders tell us from now on that sales will be near 1/2 Mb all in, we believe. For the 3rd week in a row, sales have reached close to that level, at 474 krb, 442, and this week at 515, combined. China bought 194 krb combined, Viet 111, and Pak 56. Shipments were also hot at 296 krb. New crop sales 2nd best of the year at 67.
To compare sales, the only year close to this one is last year, with 11.562 Mrb sold by the 3rd week of Dec. The US shipped 15.10 Mrb, so the sales vs final ratio was 77% then. This year the US has sold 11.645 Mrb, and the estimate is 14.6 Mrb. All things equal, based on year ago the US will ship 15.18 Mrb, or 15.6 Mb (480#). This would put the ratio of shipments vs total supply at 67%, compared to the all-time high of 71% in 16/17.
Sales have been on fire since June, and shipments moved into 1st place all-time 7 weeks ago. The 19/20 and 17/18 years had final shipments of 15.53 Mb (480#) and 15.95. An easy projection falls around 15.75 to 16.25 Mb. Based on several different methods, if sales and shipments stay hot, something close to 16.0 Mb seems appropriate.
As good as demand is now, what could upend the Bull Train? One thing we saw was that in 10/11, the super-price year, sales hit a wall in December. The slope of the plot flattened out, and for the rest of the year, net sales from then were only 700 kb. But price then was double what it is now. The only other sidebar is that grain sales have sharply cooled down. History and math say final shipments this year will be perhaps 1 Mb over the current estimate. What could possibly throw a wrench in that?
Getting back to some Fibonacci cycles mentioned before, a long term 233 count in days from the major high last Jan fell on 12/14. So far, a high has occurred, along with a reversal, 3 days later on 12/17. Close enough. Also worth repeating were the Fib counts that identified the high last Jan, the major low of Apr, and the intermediate high of late Oct.