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WEEKLY GRAIN MOVEMENT: Processors, ethanol plants need corn

Frigid cold that blanketed much of the Midwest slows operations at shipping terminals, elevators.

Corn was loaded onto trucks and trains this week to go to chicken producers, corn processors and ethanol plants that need coverage for January production, Midwest grain dealers said.

Trains were loaded in central Illinois for the Southeast markets for poultry producers or ethanol plants. While those trains were sold some time ago, dealers said cash rail bids for the Southeast markets remain competitive with local markets and more trains will likely be booked there.

“We are loading two trains to the Southeast and two to Decatur,” an Illinois dealer said Monday.

A soybean train was sold to the Gulf export market for January shipment following a 10- to 12-cent jump in the cash basis last week.

Soybean exports have been active with year-to-date sales and shipments well above a year ago. China bought more soybeans on Monday, its third purchase in a week.

The frigid cold that blanketed much of the Midwest in recent days slowed operations somewhat at shipping terminals and elevators as workers were unable to spend too much time outside. However, any delays should be brief as warmer weather was due later in the week.

Sales of new-crop soybeans were fairly slow on Monday as cash prices were back under the $10 trigger point for many farmers. New-crop sales were active early last week when cash bids topped $10, they said.

Sales of old-crop corn may increase later this week or next week for cash purposes, but otherwise farmers may delay sales until the next tax year, Iowa dealers said.

Weekly data

Barge grain shipments during the week ended December 10 totaled 1,057,119 tons, similar to the prior week and up 31% from a year ago.

In the rail sector, grain car loadings totaled 25,002 for the week ended Dec. 3, up 11% from the prior week and up 9% from a year ago, said USDA’s grain transportation report said.

For truckers, the U.S. average diesel fuel price was up 1 cent in the latest week to $2.49 per gallon, which is the highest in more than a year. That price also is up 16 cents a year ago. The increase was attributed to gains in crude oil prices following OPEC’s deal to trim production.

USDA’s latest weekly grain inspections included corn at 30.3 million bushels, down 11% from a week ago, which missed trade forecasts. Japan was the largest market for that week.

Soybean shipments of 63.6 million were down 6% from a week ago but matched trade forecasts, with China the largest market. Wheat shipments of 17.6 million were up 8.6% from a week ago to match trade forecasts. Japan was the largest destination for wheat.

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