Farm Progress

Weekly Grain Movement – March 13, 2017

Snow keeps farmers off the roads.

Bob Burgdorfer, Senior Editor

March 14, 2017

2 Min Read

A snowstorm moved through the Midwest on Monday making roads slick and discouraging farmers from hauling crops to markets. Shipments had been slow ahead of the storm too as lower prices following last week’s bearish crop report discouraged sales.

Eastern Iowa may end up with 5 to 6 inches on the ground by Tuesday, while dealers in central Illinois said 3 to 4 inches may be the most. The fast-moving storm is forecast to bring blizzard conditions to the Eastern Seaboard later this week.

Interior grain elevators were shipping small amounts of corn and soybeans to local processors. Ethanol plants in Illinois are buying corn for April needs.

The Gulf soybean market remained competitive for elevators with access to rail lines. Active vessel loadings at the Gulf maintained a need for soybeans, particularly with farmer selling being slow at interior market points.

River navigation resumed for the season last week near the Quad Cities and those shippers on Monday said they were loading corn and soybean barges for the Gulf. The corn basis weakened in the past week at the Gulf, but soybean bids remained firm.

Corn for March shipment to the Gulf was bid 38 over the CBOT May this week versus 42 over last week and April shipment was bid 38 over versus 40 last week. Soybeans for March were bid 27 over and April 23 over versus 23 for both last week.

Shipping grain by rail to the PNW appears to be returning to normal after recent winter-weather delays. The delays had helped firm gulf bids as shippers diverted some business to those ports. USDA said rail shipments of grain to the PNW during the week ended March 1 were up 33% from the prior week, and were up 1% for the four-week period versus a year ago.

Active barge movement
Barge grain shipments during the week ended March 4 totaled 816,786 tons, up 52% from the prior week and up 86% from a year ago, according to USDA’s Grain Transportation Report.

Grain vessel loadings at the Gulf remained active with USDA reporting 47 vessels loaded during the week of March 2, up 24% from a year ago. Sixty four vessels are expected to be loaded in the next 10 days, up 16% from a year ago, the report said.

In the rail sector, grain car loadings totaled 21,307 for the week ended Feb. 25, down 7% from the prior week and unchanged from a year ago.

For truckers, the U.S. average diesel fuel price was about unchanged during the week ended March 6 at $2.58 per gallon. That is up 56 cents from a year ago.

USDA’s latest weekly grain inspections are detailed in the following table and charts.


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