In its first weekly export sales report since the government shutdown, USDA reported export sales for the week ending December 20. Corn sales are 1.7 million tonnes, down 14 percent from the prior week, but 28 percent more than the prior four-week average. Soybean sales were almost double trade expectations at 2.4 million tonnes. That figure is down 16 percent from the previous week, but 92 percent more than the four-week average. Wheat export sales are reported at 526,000 tonnes, an increase of 68 percent from the previous week, but two percent lower than the four-week average. Cornbelt Marketing market analyst Sam Hudson says in some ways the delayed reports are “old news,” so traders are looking for surprises. “This doesn’t tell us we should expect a surprise in exports as far as something that needed to be purchased and shipped now, but there was a sale made for the future. We’ll see if anything comes about this.” Hudson says U.S.- China trade talks will be more important to the grain markets.