Grain Transportation Overview By Sector: 3/15/18

This article has been reprinted from the March 15, 2018 USDA Grain Transportation Report.

Export Sales

For the week ending March 1, unshipped balances of wheat, corn, and soybeans totaled 36.3 mmt, up 10 percent from the same time last year. 

Net weekly wheat export sales were .391 mmt, up 105 percent from the previous week. 

Net corn export sales were 1.86 mmt, up 8 percent from the previous week. 

Net soybean export sales totaled 2.51 mmt, up notably from the previous week.

Rail

U.S. Class I railroads originated 23,198 grain carloads for the week ending March 3; up 15 percent from the previous week, down 3 percent from last year, and up 4 percent from the 3-year average.

Average March shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers, per car, were $1,350 above tariff for the week ending March 8, up $633 from last week, and $950 higher than last year. 

There were no non-shuttle bids/offers this week.

Barge

For the week ending March 10, barge grain movements totaled 359,479 tons, 7 percent lower than the previous week, and down 58 percent from the same period last year.

For the week ending March 10, 253 grain barges moved down river, 1 barge higher than the previous week. 

There were 721 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans, 4 percent lower than the previous week.

Ocean

For the week ending March 8, 39 ocean-going grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf, 15 percent less than the same period last year.

Sixty-seven vessels are expected to be loaded within the next 10 days, unchanged from the same period last year.

For the week ending March 8, the ocean freight rate for shipping bulk grain from the Gulf to Japan was $45.00 per metric ton, up 1 percent from the previous week. 

The cost of shipping from the PNW to Japan was $24.00 per metric ton, unchanged from the previous week.