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Weekly Grain Movement - Oct. 25, 2016

Weekly Grain Movement - Oct. 25, 2016
Soybean harvest going fast, barge rates jump.

A rush to harvest soybeans before more rain arrives has filled Midwest elevators in Iowa and Illinois, and there has been talk of the crop being piled on the ground in some areas, grain dealers said this week.

“It is going to be a race to cut as many beans as they can before Wednesday,” said a central Illinois merchant.

A mostly warm, dry weekend had farmers cutting large amounts of corn and soybeans. More harvesting will be done Monday and Tuesday before the rain that is forecast to begin late on Tuesday and continue through Wednesday.

A mostly warm, dry weekend had farmers cutting large amounts of corn and soybeans. (Photo: fotokostic/Thinkstock)

The rapid finish to the harvest has filled grain elevators and on-farm storage and there has been talk that some of the soybeans may have to be piled outside. USDA late on Monday said the corn harvest was 61% done and soybeans 76%. The corn was 1 point behind the five-year average, while the soybeans matched the average.

Barge rates jump

The incoming supply of harvested crops increased demand for barges to ship it downstream to export elevators. As a result, barge rates spiked higher this week to about 500% of tariff near the quad cities on the Mississippi. A week ago, rates were about 400%. The 100 point rise translates to about a 10-cent per bushel increase in shipping costs for corn and about 9 cents for soybeans.

“Barges are extremely tight,” said one quad cities shipper.

Truckloads of corn have come to the river even though it is not the best market, because big yields have farmers looking for any place that will take it, said the shipper. “We are dumping more trucks of corn than what we expected.”

Rail bids improved this week for corn going to the Southeast poultry and ethanol markets and currently are about 3 cents better than the Gulf from central Illinois. Demand has eased from ethanol plants in Illinois as they have much of November’s need covered.

Soybeans in Illinois and Iowa are largely going to local processors, as Gulf bids dropped over the past week.

Corn at the Gulf was bid about 40 cents over December for October shipment, compared with 35 a week ago, and about 48 over for November versus 46 a week ago. Soybeans bids tumbled with October shipment bid 25 over November versus 44 cents a week ago, and November bid 45 over versus about 54 a week ago.

USDA’s latest weekly grain inspections for corn of 21.3 million bushels were down from a week ago and missed trade forecasts and were under the pace needed to meet USDA’s annual export forecast. Soybean shipments of 100.7 million were up from a week ago, beat trade forecasts, and easily topped USDA’s projected weekly rate. Wheat shipments of 9 million were down from a week ago, missed trade forecasts and were under the weekly rate needed to meet USDA’s forecast.


USDA said barge grain shipments during the weekend Oct. 15 were 907,620 tons, up 44% from the prior week and up 19% from a year ago.

In the rail sector, grain car loadings totaled 26,842 for the week ended Oct. 8, down 3% from the prior week and up 8% from a year ago, USDA’s grain transportation report said.

For truckers, the U.S. average diesel fuel price rose 4 cents in the latest week to $2.48 per gallon. That is down 5 cents from the same week last year.

Diesel prices have increased 11 cents a gallon in the past three weeks, which USDA attributed to a larger-than-expected decrease in inventories.

Refineries use distillate fuel to create both diesel fuel and residential heating oil. As the seasonal demand for heating oil increases, impacts to the diesel fuel market can be expected,” USDA said. “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has forecast winter temperatures to be colder than last year for much of the country, particularly the Northeast where the use of heating oil is most prevalent.”

Weekly Grain Movement - Oct. 25, 2016

Weekly Grain Movement - Oct. 17, 2016 - Corn sales increase as prices rise

Weekly Grain Movement - Oct. 11, 2016 - End users fill up as harvest gains traction

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