Grain Transportation Overview By Sector: 5/17/18

This article has been reprinted from the May 17 USDA Grain Transportation Report.

Export Sales

For the week ending May 3, unshipped balances of wheat, corn, and soybeans totaled 32.7 mmt, up 31 percent from the same time last year. 

Net weekly wheat export sales were .035 mmt, down 85 percent from the previous week. 

Net corn export sales were .696 mmt, down 27 percent from the previous week. 

Net soybean export sales totaled .354 mmt, down 15 percent from the previous week.

Rail

U.S. Class I railroads originated 25,100 grain carloads for the week ending May 5; up 5 percent from the previous week, 15 percent from last year, and 29 percent from the 3-year average.

Average May shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers, per car, were $381 above tariff for the week ending May 10, up $190 from last week, and $544 higher than last year. 

Average non-shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers, per car, were $700 above tariff, down $368 from last week, and $788 higher than last year.

Barge

For the week ending May 12, barge grain movements totaled 834,668 tons, 6 percent lower than the previous week and down 16 percent from the same period last year.

For the week ending May 12, 526 grain barges moved down river, 69 barges less than the previous week. 

There were 759 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans, 10 percent higher than the previous week.

Ocean

For the week ending May 10, 36 ocean-going grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf, 29 percent more than the same period last year.

Forty-nine vessels are expected to be loaded within the next 10 days, 6 percent less than the same period last year.

For the week ending May 10, the ocean freight rate for shipping bulk grain from the Gulf to Japan was $44.00 per metric ton, down 1 percent from the previous week. 

The cost of shipping from the PNW to Japan was $24.50 per metric ton, up 2 percent from the previous week.

Fuel

For the week ending May 14, the U.S. average diesel fuel price increased 7 cents from the previous week to $3.24 per gallon, 70 cents higher than the same week last year.