Grain sales from farmers to elevators slowed this past week as recent slippage in the Chicago futures had farmers content to wait before selling more.
Warm weather throughout the Midwest has raised some concerns about condensation developing in grain and threatening to damage the stored corn. Those concerns had some Iowa farmers pulling corn from on-farm elevators and hauling it to town for storage as a means to air it out and lessen the risk of damage.
The warm weather, with highs in the 60s and instances of 70, had some country roads in Illinois posted to ban truck traffic. That required farmers to take detours via main roads when hauling grain to town. The road postings are expected to remain in place into March.
Processors and Exporters
Interior grain elevators continue to move corn and soybeans to local processors, while river elevators are buying corn and soybeans that will be shipped when the river opens in a few weeks. Cash bids at Gulf export points improved for corn this past week, while soybeans bids were mixed.
Currently, corn for February is bid about 46 over March, up 3 since last week, and March is 45 over, up 1. Soybeans for February delivery to the Gulf are bid about 41 over the CBOT March, down 1, and March is bid about 38 over, up 1, from a week ago.
Active Grain Vessel Loading
Grain vessel loadings at the Gulf remain strong with USDA reporting 54 vessels loaded during the week of Feb. 9, up 69% from a year ago. Sixty five vessels are expected to be loaded in the next 10 days, up 5% from a year ago.
Barge grain shipments during the week ended February 11 totaled 678,040 tons, down 9% from the prior week and down 9% from a year ago, according to USDA’s Grain Transportation Report.
In the rail sector, grain car loadings totaled 25,741 for the week ended Feb. 4, up 13% from the prior week and up 16% from a year ago.
For truckers, the U.S. average diesel fuel price increased a penny during the week ended February 13 to $2.57 per gallon. That is up 59 cents from a year ago.
USDA’s latest weekly grain inspections are detailed in the following table and charts.