Here's the weekly USDA's weekly grain transportation report.
Weekly Inspections of Grain Decrease, but Corn Remains Strong
For the week ending September 27, total inspections of grain (corn, wheat, and soybeans) for export from all major U.S. export regions reached 2.33 million metric tons (mmt), down 8 percent from the previous week, down 7 percent from last year, and unchanged from the 3-year average. Week-to-week inspections were down for corn, wheat and soybeans. Corn inspections, however, remained above 1 mmt for the week. Furthermore, corn inspections during the last four weeks are up 51 percent from last year and 17 percent above the 3-year average. Mississippi Gulf grain inspections dropped 4 percent from the previous week, but Pacific Northwest (PNW) grain inspections increased 1 percent.
Year-to-date Soybean Barge Tonnages Lower than Last Year
As of September 29, calendar year-to-date soybean shipments on the locking portions of the Mississippi, Ohio and Arkansas rivers were 9.2 million tons, 13 percent lower than last year. During the same time period, corn barge tonnages were 18.4 million tons, 3 percent higher than last year. During September, the three-year average (2015-17) of grain and oilseed movements by barge are 49 percent corn, 40 percent soybeans, and 11 percent other grains. During September, 2018 , the share of barged grain is 65 percent corn , 32 percent soybeans, and 3 percent other grains. With China’s 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans, industry sources say more corn and less other grains is being sold at harvest to make room for more soybean storage. This reversal of typical harvest shipping and storing practices may continue in upcoming weeks with changes to the normal ratio of corn and soybeans moved by barge.
Diesel Fuel Prices Spike
During the week ending October 1, the U.S. average diesel fuel price reached $3.313 per gallon, a level not seen since December 2014. Prices increased 4.2 cents per gallon from the previous week and are up 10.6 cents per gallon over the past 6 weeks. Analysts report this increase is due to looming U.S. sanctions on Iran scheduled for next month and fears of decreased global crude oil supplies as a result.