Moving Grain: Strong Week for Export Inspections

The Port of Rosedale - Rosedale, Mississippi - Mississippi River ©Debra L Ferguson Stock Photography

Corn Inspections Rebound; Total Inspections Well Above Average

For the week ending May 3, total inspections of grain (corn, wheat, and soybeans) for export from all major U.S. export regions reached 2.8 million metric tons (mmt); up 10 percent from the previous week, up 47 percent from last year, and 39 percent above the 3-year average.

The increase in grain inspections was helped by a 29 percent jump in inspections of corn, with shipments to Asia increasing 48 percent from the past week. Inspections of wheat and soybeans decreased 16 and 17 percent, respectively, from the previous week.

Grain inspections were up 14 percent in the Mississippi Gulf and up 16 percent in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). Current outstanding (unshipped) export sales have continued to fall from last week for corn, wheat, and soybeans.

CGB and Riverland Ag Announce Joint Grain Terminal in Savage, MN

On May 1, Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. (CGB) and Riverland Ag announced their joint ownership and operation of a grain terminal in Savage, MN. The terminal will receive, store, and ship wheat, corn, soybeans, rye and other products.

The facility has 9.2 million bushels of grain storage, barge and rail shipping capabilities, high speed truck and rail receiving capacity, and connections with the Twin Cities and Western Railroad, BNSF Railway, Union Pacific Railroad, and Canadian Pacific Railway.

The announcement says the new venture will allow for expansion into new grain markets and maximize volume from each company to lower cost per unit handled.

Grain News on AgFax


Truck Fleets Rewarding Fuel-Efficient Drivers

The American Trucking Association has historically identified driver wages and fuel prices as two of the main operational costs impacting trucking company rates; including for bulk load shipments such as grain and fertilizer.

Previously, fuel-efficiency was gauged by strictly monitoring the miles traveled per gallon. However, an article in the April edition of Transport Topics describes how some trucking fleets are now employing new technology to reward fuel-efficient drivers.

New onboard technology gauges driver fuel-efficiency to support performance-based pay. Providers of this technology offer the possibility to monitor fuel-efficiency factors that rely on the driver’s performance such as optimal equipment procurement, idling, speeding and excessive revolutions per minute.

For more information, see here.

Snapshots by Sector

Export Sales

For the week ending April 26, unshipped balances of wheat, corn, and soybeans totaled 34.2 mmt, up 32 percent from the same time last year. Net weekly wheat export sales were .235 mmt, down 21 percent from the previous week. Net corn export sales were 1.02 mmt, up 46 percent from the previous week. Net soybean export sales totaled .416 mmt, up 30 percent from the previous week.

Rail

U.S. Class I railroads originated 23,954 grain carloads for the week ending April 28; down 8 percent from the previous week, up 1 percent from last year, and up 13 percent from the 3-year average.

Average May shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers per car were $192 above tariff for the week ending May 3, down $408 from last week, and $396 higher than last year. Average non-shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers per car were $1,068 (only Union Pacific) above tariff. There were no non-shuttle bids/offers last week or this week last year.

Barge

For the week ending May 5, barge grain movements totaled 884,164 tons, 20 percent higher than the previous week, and up 172 percent from the same period last year.

For the week ending May 5, 595 grain barges moved down river, 122 barges more than the previous week. There were 690 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans, 5 percent higher than the previous week.

Ocean

For the week ending May 3, 33 ocean-going grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf, unchanged from the same period last year. Forty vessels are expected to be loaded within the next 10 days, 15 percent less than the same period last year.

For the week ending May 3, the ocean freight rate for shipping bulk grain from the Gulf to Japan was $44.25 per metric ton, unchanged from the previous week. The cost of shipping from the PNW to Japan was $24.00 per metric ton, unchanged from the previous week.

Fuel

For the week ending May 7, the U.S. average diesel fuel price increased 1 cent from the previous week to $3.17 per gallon, 61 cents higher than the same week last year.

Full report.


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