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WEEKLY GRAIN MOVEMENT: Farmers sell as prices move higher

Grain vessel loadings at Gulf remain strong.

Farmer selling of new- and old-crop soybeans was fairly active late last week and on Monday in reaction to recent gains in the futures markets. Cash bids of $10 or more for the new-crop soybeans prompted a lot of selling, Midwest grain dealers said.

Corn sales also increased, with most of that business being old-crop supplies. Farmers were not happy with the new-crop cash prices.

In Illinois, most of the farmer selling involved crops already at commercial elevators. Warm weather made blacktop country roads soggy and caused county commissioners to temporarily ban truck traffic. The truck limits may continue as Illinois dealers said mild weather is in the forecast through the weekend.

Many of the rural roads in Iowa are gravel, which were not as greatly affected by the freezing and thawing, and as a result, grain trucks moved from farm to elevator.

Stronger cash bids at Gulf of Mexico export points for soybeans had a central Illinois grain selling a train there this week for February or March arrival.

Currently, soybeans for February delivery to the Gulf are bid about 42 over the Chicago Board of Trade's March, while March is bid about 37 over, and both of those are up about 7 cents from a week ago. Corn for February is bid about 43 over March, and March is 44 over, both of which are about unchanged from a week ago.

On the Mississippi River, a Quad Cities shipper said its river-opening bids for corn and soybeans were better than those of local processors, which allowed it to buy a lot of corn. Navigation near the Quad Cities is expected to resume in mid-March.

Active grain vessel loading

Grain vessel loadings at the Gulf remain strong, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture reporting 47 vessels loaded during the week of Feb. 2, up 47% from a year ago. Sixty-five vessels are expected to be loaded within the next 10 days, up 16% from a year ago.

Barge grain shipments during the week ended Feb. 4 totaled 741,596 tons, up 3% from the prior week and down 24% from a year ago, according to USDA’s "Grain Transportation Report."

In the rail sector, grain car loadings totaled 22,773 for the week ended Jan. 28, down 7% from the prior week and unchanged from a year ago.

For truckers, the U.S. average diesel fuel price was unchanged during the week ended Feb. 6 at $2.56/gal., up 55 cents from a year ago.

USDA’s latest weekly grain inspections are detailed in the table and charts at this link.

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