Grain Transportation Overview By Sector: 3/29/18

This article has been reprinted from the March 29 USDA Grain Transportation Report

Export Sales

For the week ending March 15, unshipped balances of wheat, corn, and soybeans totaled 37.7 mmt, up 18 percent from the same time last year. 

Net weekly wheat export sales were .265 mmt, up 63 percent from the previous week. 

Net corn export sales were 1.47 mmt, down 41 percent from the previous week. 

Net soybean export sales totaled .759 mmt, down 40 percent from the previous

week.

Rail

U.S. Class I railroads originated 23,682 grain carloads for the week ending March 17, up 3 percent from the previous week, 2 percent from last year, and 5 percent from the 3-year average.

Average April shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers per car were $456 above tariff for the week ending March 22, up $219 from last week, and $238 higher than last year. 

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

Barge

For the week ending March 24, barge grain movements totaled 976,375 tons, 16 percent higher than the previous week and down 8 percent from the same period last year.

For the week ending March 24, 590 grain barges moved down river, 53 barges more than the previous week. 

There were 560 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans, 2 percent lower than the previous week.

Ocean

For the week ending March 22, 35 ocean-going grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf, 21 percent less than the same period last year.

Fifty-three vessels are expected to be loaded within the next 10 days, 2 percent more than the same period last year.

For the week ending March 22, the ocean freight rate for shipping bulk grain from the Gulf to Japan was $45.25 per metric ton, unchanged from the previous week. 

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

Fuel

During the week ending March 26, average diesel fuel prices increased 4 cents from the previous week to $3.01 per gallon, 43 cents higher than the same week last year.