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Weekly Grain Movement - May 30, 2017

Rising water slows Mississippi shipping.

Bob Burgdorfer

May 30, 2017

3 Min Read

Barge movement on the Mississippi River may slow some more this week as rising water has forced some river elevators to suspend barge loadings and other elevators may do the same later this week, river shippers said.

National Weather Service projections show water levels at several sections of the Mississippi River from the Quad Cities to St Louis will reach moderate flood levels and in some cases major flood levels in the next few days.

While barge loadings will be slowed, shippers said demand for corn and soybeans at the Gulf have been fairly light so the suspensions should not cause significant supply shortages at the Gulf.

Closure of the ADM loading facility at Ama, Louisiana, because an accident may cause some minor logistical problems, but the slow pace of shipments this summer also should prevent significant delays, shippers said. Wire stories said ADM would shift vessel loadings to its three other Louisiana facilities.

“That is going to tight capacity a little bit, but it should have a neutral effect since we do not have a large shipping program for July and August,” a Quad Cities shipper said regarding the ADM facility.

Containers of soybeans were sold last week in central Illinois for shipment by rail to the West Coast where they will then be shipped by boat to Asian markets. Local processors remain the best market for soybeans, but the shipper said the container market was competitive.

Farmers sell corn
The jump in Chicago corn futures on Friday prompted some old-crop corn sales then, but sales have since slowed with Tuesday’s lower market. Chicago futures were closed during Monday’s holiday.

In central Illinois, Friday’s higher futures put cash bids at or above $3.50 a bushel, which triggered farmer selling, dealers said. No new-crop corn or old-crop soybean sales were reported.

Dry conditions in most areas had farmers in the fields during the three-day weekend, some were wrapping up corn and soybean planting and others were spraying weeds. Replanting was done in southern Illinois and in parts of western Iowa.

Crop insurance will provide full coverage of corn planted in much of Illinois until June 5. Insurance will cover soybeans replanted until June 15 in northern Illinois and until June 20 south of there, dealers said.

USDA planting progress will be updated later on Tuesday. Farm Futures expects about 91% of the corn to be planted and 63% of the soybeans. A year ago, the five-year averages were 92% for corn and 66% for soybeans.

Gulf soybean bids increase, corn eases
Soybeans at the Gulf for June shipment 37 over July versus 34 over a week ago and July was 40 over versus 40 over a week ago.

Corn for June shipment to the Gulf was bid 28 over the CBOT July, versus 33 over a week ago, while July was bid 28 over versus last week’s 33 over.

Barge grain loadings during the week ended May 20 totaled 656,269 tons, down 34% from the prior week and down 23% from a year ago, according to USDA’s Grain Transportation Report.

Grain vessel loadings at the Gulf totaled 33 vessels during the week of May 18, down 22% from a year ago. Fifty-one 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 23,256 for the week ended May 13, up 6% from the prior week and up 26% from a year ago.

For truckers, the U.S. average diesel fuel price weakened a little during the week ended May 22 but stayed at $2.54 per gallon. That is up 18 cents from a year ago.

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


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