FWHA Awards $15.1 Million in Surface Transportation Alternative Grants
On July 9, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) awarded $15.1 million in Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives grants.
Enacted in 2015, the program supports States in exploring user-based revenue mechanisms for funding highway infrastructure projects, such as miles-based user fees (MBUF) and road user charges. The MBUF system uses technology to tabulate how far a vehicle has traveled, which helps determine how much it is charged.
The funding represents seven projects in Washington ($5.5 million), Oregon ($5 million), Delaware ($3.3 million), Utah ($745,000 total for two separate projects), and Wyoming ($250,000).
KDOT Selects 24 Transportation Projects for Cost-Share Awards
On July 9, Kansas State Department of Transportation (KDOT) announced the award of almost $20 million statewide for 24 projects as part of KDOT’s Cost Share Program. The program provides funding to local groups for transportation projects to improve safety, support job growth, enhance mobility, and relieve congestion.
The selected projects include road improvements in Logan County and three bridge replacements in Kingman County. Given Kansas’s status as a major source of agricultural products, the KDOT projects could benefit the movement of agricultural products, such as wheat to elevators or millers.
FMCSA Announces 2020 Trucking Safety Summit
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) will hold an online public meeting—its “2020 Trucking Safety Summit”—on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 pm, eastern time.
The virtual meeting will allow interested stakeholders and members of the public to share ideas on improving the safety of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles on the Nation’s roadways. A full agenda of the meeting is available online.
Total Grain Inspections Up Slightly, While Corn Remains Strong
For the week ending July 16, total inspections of grain (corn, wheat, and soybeans) for export from all major U.S. export regions totaled 2.1 million metric tons (mmt). Total grain inspections were up 1 percent from the previous week, up 45 percent from last year, and unchanged from the 3-year average.
Grain News on AgFax
Inspections of corn increased 25 percent from the previous week, while soybean inspections decreased 6 percent and wheat inspections decreased 24 percent. Shipments to Latin America and Asia increased from the previous week, mainly as a result of higher corn inspections. Also, from the previous week, grain inspections decreased 7 percent in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and increased 1 percent in the Mississippi Gulf.
For the last 4 weeks, corn inspections were up 103 percent from the same period last year. Likewise, for the last 4 weeks, total grain inspections were up 14 percent from the same period last year, but 1 percent below the 3-year average.
Snapshots by Sector
For the week ending July 9, unshipped balances of wheat, corn, and soybeans totaled 20.9 million metric tons (mmt). This represented a 9-percent increase in outstanding sales from the same time last year.
Net corn export sales were 0.981 mmt, up significantly from the last week. Net soybean export sales were 0.313 mmt, down 67 percent from the previous week. Net wheat export sales were 0.764 mmt, up significantly from the previous week.
U.S. Class I railroads originated 19,443 grain carloads during the week ending July 11. This was 5 percent less than the previous week, 20 percent less than last year, and 13 percent lower than the 3-year average.
Average August shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers (per car) were $194 above tariff for the week ending July 16. This was $181 more than last week and $249 more than this week last year. There were no non-shuttle bids/offers this week.
For the week ending July 18, barge grain movements totaled 746,792 tons. This was 10 percent less than the previous week and 3 percent less than the same period last year.
For the week ending July 18, 479 grain barges moved down river—66 fewer barges than the previous week. There were 590 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans, 12 percent less than the previous week.
For the week ending July 16, 30 oceangoing grain vessels were loaded in the U.S. Gulf—67 percent more than the same period last year. Within the next 10 days (starting July 17), 35 vessels were expected to be loaded—41 percent fewer than the same period last year.
As of July 16, the rate for shipping a metric ton (mt) of grain from the U.S. Gulf to Japan was $42.50. This was 8 percent more than the previous week. The rate from the Pacific Northwest to Japan was $21.50 per mt, 2 percent more than the previous week.
For the week ending July 20, the U.S. average diesel fuel price decreased 0.5 cents from the previous week to $2.433 per gallon, 61.1 cents below the same week last year.