Year-to-Date Soybean Barge Tonnages Lower Than Last Year

This article has been reprinted from the Oct. 4 USDA Grain Transportation Report.

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.