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WEEKLY GRAIN MOVEMENT: River market improves as water levels drop

Good weather allows farmers to wrap up corn, soybean planting.

Barge traffic on the Mississippi River should increase this week as lower water levels from the recent flood stages will allow empty barges to transit north for reloading and allow river elevators to resume loading, river shippers said on Monday.

A number of river elevators last week suspended loading because of high water. That suspension in loadings had Gulf elevators raising basis bids for soybeans. Some market reports showed soybeans bids for June arrival rose 1 cent in the past week while bids for July arrival rose 4 cents.

“As of May 31, there are no lock closures due to high water levels. Grain barge traffic for May on the upper Mississippi, Ohio, and Arkansas Rivers was 2.8 million tons, 16 % lower than the three-year average for May,” said USDA’s Grain Transportation Report.

Inland elevators said local processors typically had the best bids for corn and soybeans. However, a few elevators near container facilities said that market had the best bids for soybeans. An abundance of containers plus favorable ocean freight rates had those shippers bidding soybeans 6 to 8 cents higher for July positions than competing users.

Farmers sell some corn

Higher Chicago corn futures a few days last week prompted some old-crop corn sales, while new-crop sales remained light, dealers said. Very few old- or new-crop soybeans were sold by farmers, they said.

Warm, dry conditions late last week and through the weekend had farmers wrapping up the last of their corn and soybean planting. Even fields that needed replanting were largely done in Illinois and Iowa. The warm and dry weather also aided early corn and soybean growth.

USDA planting progress will be updated later on Monday. Farm Futures expects about 95% of the corn to be planted and 80% of the soybeans. A year ago, the five-year averages were 97% for corn and 77% for soybeans.

Corn’s condition is expected at about 66% good/excellent, compared with last week’s 65%. USDA indicated last week that soybean’s crop condition will not be in today’s report.

Gulf soybean bids increase, corn eases

Soybeans at the Gulf for June shipment 38 over July versus 37 over a week ago and July was 44 over versus 40 over a week ago.

Corn for June shipment to the Gulf was bid 26 over the CBOT July, versus 28 over a week ago, while July was bid 28 over unchanged from a week ago. 

Barge grain loadings during the week ended May 27 totaled 785,420 tons, up 20% from the prior week and down 7% from a year ago, according to the.

Grain vessel loadings at the Gulf totaled 31 vessels during the week of May 25, up 11% from a year ago. Sixty one vessels are expected to be loaded in the next 10 days, up 22% from a year ago, the report said.

In the rail sector, grain car loadings totaled 23,997 for the week ended May 20, up 3% from the prior week and up 24% from a year ago.

For truckers, the U.S. average diesel fuel price increased 3 cents during the week ended May 29 to  $2.57 per gallon. That is up 19 cents from a year ago.

USDA’s latest weekly grain inspections are detailed in the following table and charts.

Corn export destinations, bushels – week ended June 1 – USDA

Soybean export destinations, bushels – week ended June 1–USDA

 

Wheat export destinations, bushels – week ended June 1 – USDA

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