Moving Grain: Funding for Water Infrastructure Programs Approved

Photo: USACE

USDA Releases Early Report for Agricultural Projections to 2028

On November 2, USDA will release selected tables from its upcoming USDA Agricultural Projections to 2028 report that will be published in February 2019. USDA will post online tables containing long-term supply, use, and price projections to 2028 for major crops and livestock products. The early-release tables will be posted here.

USDA’s long-term agricultural projections are developed through a consensus of departmental agencies and provide a long-term representative scenario of the agricultural sector, over the next decade. The projections can be useful to agricultural shippers in anticipating future transportation demand patterns for agricultural products.

President Trump Signed the Water Resources Development Act 2018 into Law

On October 23, President Trump signed the America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018, which authorizes the federal government to fund water infrastructure projects. The new law authorizes, or reauthorizes, water infrastructure projects and programs to provide for investment in harbor, waterway, flood protection, and other water infrastructure improvements throughout the country.

Title 1 of the Act includes the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2018, which establishes the authorization process for Congress to appropriate the funds toward projects identified by legislation.

The AWIA re-establishes a two-year cycle for WRDA legislation to allow timely updates and continuity for important projects. It also allows the federal government to deauthorize $4 billion of funding in water resource development authorized by Congress, but no longer viable for construction.

Agribusinesses Embrace Digital Technology to Increase Supply Chain Efficiencies

On October 25, Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), Bunge Limited (Bunge), Cargill, Incorporated (Cargill), and Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) announced they are investigating ways to standardize and digitize global agricultural shipping transactions.

The joint release stated, “Global agribusinesses are turning to emerging digital technologies – including blockchain and artificial intelligence options – to reduce resource- and time-intensive processes associated with the global agricultural commodity value chain. The companies also seek broad-based industry participation to promote global access and adoption.

Initially, ADM, Bunge, Cargill and LDC are focused on technologies to automate grain and oilseed post-trade execution processes, as they represent a highly manual and costly part of the supply chain. Eliminating inefficiencies would lead to shorter document-processing times, reduced wait times and better end-to-end contracting visibility.”

Snapshots by Sector

Export Sales

For the week ending October 18, unshipped balances of wheat, corn, and soybeans totaled 32.5 mmt, down 8 percent from the same time last year. Net weekly wheat export sales were .443 mmt, down 7 percent from the previous week. Net corn export sales were .350 mmt, down 9 percent from the previous week. Net soybean export sales were .213 mmt, down 28 percent from the past week.

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Rail

U.S. Class I railroads originated 22,431 grain carloads for the week ending October 20; up 1 percent from the previous week, down 7 percent from last year, and down 11 percent from the 3-year average.

Average November shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers, per car, were $25 above tariff for the week ending October 25, down $56 from last week, and $141 higher than last year. Average non-shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers were $13 above tariff, down $50 from last week. There were no non-shuttle bids/offers this week last year.

Barge

For the week ending October 27, barge grain movements totaled 399,684 tons, 40 percent higher than the previous week and down 54 percent from the same period last year.

For the week ending October 27, 242 grain barges moved down river, 86 more than the previous week. There were 683 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans, 18 percent lower than the previous week.

Ocean

For the week ending October 25, 33 ocean-going grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf, 8 percent less than the same period last year. Fifty-two vessels are expected to be loaded within the next 10 days, 4 percent more than the same period last year.

For the week ending October 25, the ocean freight rate for shipping bulk grain, from the Gulf to Japan, was $49.25 per metric ton, 1 percent less than the previous week. The cost of shipping, from the PNW to Japan, was $27.50 per metric ton, 1 percent less than the previous week.

Fuel

For the week ending October 29, the U.S. average diesel fuel price decreased 2.5 cents, from the previous week, to $3.355 per gallon, 53.6 cents above the same week last year.

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