Here's the weekly USDA's weekly grain transportation report.
Flooding Stops Barge Traffic on Upper Mississippi River
Heavy rains and severe storms in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin, from June into October, have resulted in several instances of flooding through the region. As of October 10, the latest round of rain closed six locks on the Upper Mississippi River.
The southern-most lock closure is at Lock 22, near Hannibal, MO, which has stopped all export-bound barge shipments originating from points north; including Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and parts of Missouri and Illinois. Forecasts from the National Weather Service indicate that water levels at Lock 22 will not recede to navigable levels, until October 23.
Railroad Congestion Stops Grain Crossings at Mexican Border
Citing congestion across the Mexican rail network, Union Pacific Railroad (UP) and BNSF Railways (BNSF) recently issued embargoes for grain, oilseeds, and other traffic interchanging with Mexican carriers along the Texas-Mexico border. Embargoes are a temporary restriction on the acceptance and handling of freight.
UP announced slow interchanges with Kansas City Southern de Mexico (KCSM) have created severe congestion at the UP/KCSM interchange at Laredo, TX. Subsequently, it placed an embargo on southbound traffic through the congested area for intermodal, automotive, fuel, wheat, and corn traffic.
Citing congestion at these crossings, BNSF announced an embargo on all grain, soybeans, dried distillers grain, soybean meal, and corn syrup destined for interchange with Mexican railroad, Ferromex (FXE), at Eagle Pass and El Paso, TX. FXE has issued an additional embargo on receiving grain, oilseeds, and grain products in order to prevent further congestion on its network.
Diesel Fuel Price Spike Continues
During the week ending October 8, U.S. on-highway diesel fuel prices increased, just over 7 cents per gallon, to $3.385. Prices have increased 11.2 cents over the past 2 weeks, and 17.2 cents over the last 7 weeks.
Increases in the crude oil market are putting pressure on diesel fuel prices. The futures market continues to closely monitor global supply as volumes from Iran and Venezuela are reportedly shrinking.