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Barge Rates Hit Yearly Highs

The largest barge freight rate increases were for the lower Mississippi River.

Barge freight rates hit the highest levels of 2007 the week of August 14, according USDA's weekly Grain Transportation Report.

The largest increases were on the lower Mississippi River, with a 60% increase in the South-of-Memphis segment and a 37% bump between Cairo and Memphis. However, the upper Mississippi and OhioRivers are still seeing rates lower than a year earlier.

Barge companies anticipate strong demand for their services farther north on the Mississippi later this year, and they say demand is already increased in the southern parts of the river.

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