Total Grain Inspections Continue to Slide…
For the week ending June 7, total inspections of grain (corn, wheat, and soybeans) for export from all major U.S. export regions reached 2.5 million metric tons (mmt), down 2 percent from the previous week, unchanged from last year, and 33 percent above the 3-year average.
Although total grain inspections continued to decrease, wheat and soybean inspections increased 6 and 12 percent, respectively, from the previous week. In the Pacific Northwest (PNW), inspections of grain dropped 7 percent, but inspections increased 5 percent in the Mississippi Gulf.
Outstanding export sales are up from the previous week for wheat, but down for corn and soybeans.
…but Atlantic and Great Lakes Exports Above-Average
Year-to-date inspections of grain (corn, wheat, soybeans) for export, from the Great Lakes and Atlantic export regions, are up notably from the same time last year. Total year-to-date inspections of grain are up 21 percent from last year in the Atlantic, and up 13 percent in the Great Lakes.
During the last four weeks, Atlantic grain inspections were 148 percent above last year and 104 percent above the 3-year average. During the last four weeks, Great Lakes inspections increased 22 percent from last year and 63 percent from the 3- year average.
About 88 percent of Atlantic grain inspections were soybeans, with over half of these shipments destined to Asia. Great Lakes inspections were mostly corn and wheat, destined primarily for Europe and Africa.
Grain News on AgFax
Canadian Pacific Announces Purchase of Grain Hopper Cars
According to a June 7 press release, Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) announced plans to invest more than $500 million on new highcapacity grain hopper cars. This translates into approximately 5,900 hopper cars over the next four years, of which 500 are expected to enter service in 2018.
The new hopper cars can hold 15 percent more volume and 10 percent more weight than existing cars, adding 16 percent more overall capacity to its grain unit trains. CP has operations in the U.S., originating about 98,000 carloads of grain and oilseeds in 2017 (about 7 percent of all Class I operations in the U.S.).
The CP announcement follows the passage of Canada’s Transportation Modernization Act (Bill C-49), reported in last week’s GTR, which encouraged similar new investment by Canadian National Railway in its grain hopper fleet.
Snapshots by Sector
For the week ending May 31, unshipped balances of wheat, corn, and soybeans totaled 26.6 mmt, up 34 percent from the same time last year. As the marketing year ended, net weekly wheat export sales were negative .019 mmt from the previous week. Net corn export sales were .836 mmt, down 16 percent from the previous week. Net soybean export sales were .165 mmt, down 40 percent from the previous week.
U.S. Class I railroads originated 22,537 grain carloads for the week ending June 2, down 13 percent from the previous week and 1 percent from last year, but up 13 percent from the 3-year average.
Average June shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers, per car, were $163 above tariff for the week ending June 7, down $117 from last week, and $342 higher than last year. There were no non-shuttle bids/offers this week.
For the week ending June 9, barge grain movements totaled 1,009,831 tons, 3 percent higher than the previous week, and up 39 percent from the same period last year.
For the week ending June 9, 649 grain barges moved down river, 34 barges more than the previous week. There were 843 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans, 24 percent higher than the previous week.
For the week ending June 7, 31 ocean-going grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf, 3 percent less than the same period last year. Forty-two vessels are expected to be loaded within the next 10 days, 24 percent less than the same period last year.
For the week ending June 7, the ocean freight rate for shipping bulk grain, from the Gulf to Japan, was $43.00 per metric ton, 2 percent more than the previous week. The cost of shipping, from the PNW to Japan, was $24.50 per metric ton, 1 percent more than the previous week.
For the week ending June 11, the U.S. average diesel fuel price decreased 2 cents from the previous week to $3.27 per gallon, 74 cents higher than the same week last year.