Dry Bulk Ag Update

September 22, 2016


The Weekly Ag Update:

From our friends at USDA

“For the week ending September 8, total inspections of grain (corn, wheat, soybeans) for export from all major export regions reached 3.1 million metric tons (mmt), down 10 percent from the previous week, up 72 percent from last year, and 96 percent above the 3-year average. Grain inspections are up16 percent year to date, and are up 88 percent from last year during the last 4 weeks.


For the week ending September 8, 48 ocean-going grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf, 20 percent more than the same period last year. Sixty-three vessels are expected to be loaded within the next 10 days, 19 percent more than the same period last year. For the week ending September 8, the ocean freight rate for shipping bulk grain from the Gulf to Japan was $30.50 per metric ton, 2 percent more than the previous week. The cost of shipping from the PNW to Japan was $16.50 per metric ton, unchanged from the previous week.


As of September 10, total calendar year-to-date grain barge tonnages on the locking portion of the Mississippi River system have reached 28.6 million tons, 23 percent higher than last year and 43 percent higher than the 5-year average for the comparable period.

On average, about 55 percent of the annual barge tonnages on the locking portion of the river system are corn, 7 percent are wheat, 37 percent are soybeans, and a small amount of other grains.  During a typical fourth quarter (October to December), soybeans become the predominate commodity shipped, representing 56 percent of the quarterly locking tonnages. With expectations of record soybean exports, there will likely be continued growth in barged soybean tonnages for the first half of the new crop year.”


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