Grain Transportation Overview By Sector: 3/22/18

This article has been reprinted from USDA's March 22 Grain Transportation Report.

Export Sales

For the week ending March 8, unshipped balances of wheat, corn, and soybeans totaled 37.6 mmt, up 17 percent from the same time last year. 

Net weekly wheat export sales were .163 mmt, down 58 percent from the previous week. 

Net corn export sales were 2.51 mmt, up 35 percent from the previous week. 

Net soybean export sales totaled 1.27 mmt, down 49 percent from the previous week.

Rail

U.S. Class I railroads originated 22,995 grain carloads, for the week ending March 10; down 1 percent from the previous week and 5 percent from last year, but up 3 percent from the 3-year average.

Average April shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers, per car, were $238 above tariff, for the week ending March 15, down $8 from last week, and $434 higher than last year. 

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

Barge

For the week ending March 17, barge grain movements totaled 838,866 tons, 133 percent higher than the previous week and down 4 percent from the same period last year.

For the week ending March 17, 537 grain barges moved down river, 284 barges more than the previous week. 

There were 569 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans, 21 percent lower than the previous week.

Ocean

For the week ending March 15, 37 ocean-going grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf, 16 percent less than the same period last year.

Sixty-two vessels are expected to be loaded within the next 10 days, 15 percent less than the same period last year.

For the week ending March 15, the ocean freight rate for shipping bulk grain from the Gulf to Japan was $45.25 per metric ton, up 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

During the week ending March 19, average diesel fuel prices was $2.97 per gallon, unchanged from the previous week but 43 cents higher than the same week last year.