Dry Bulk Ag Update

Dry Bulk Ag Update.

From our friends at USDA

For the week ending September 29, total inspections of grain (corn, wheat, and soybeans) reached 3.28 million metric tons (mmt), up 23 percent from the previous week, up 52 percent from last year, and 71 percent above the 3-year average. Inspections of soybeans jumped 186 percent from the previous week due primarily to increased demand from Asia. Total corn inspections increased 8 percent from the previous week. Wheat inspections, however, were down 27 percent from the past week as shipments to Latin America and Asia decreased. Grain inspections in the Mississippi Gulf increased 19 percent from the previous week, and Pacific Northwest (PNW) inspections increased 31 percent. Outstanding export sales (unshipped) of grain were up for soybeans but were down for corn and wheat.

Grain vessel loading activity in the U.S. Gulf continued to be strong. The weekly number of ocean–going grain vessels loading, loaded, or expected to be loaded have been well above their 4-year averages for the past few weeks. For the week ending September 29, 53 vessels were loading or waiting to be loaded, compared to the 4-year average of 48 vessels. Forty-two vessels were loaded during the previous 7 days and 77 vessels were expected to be loaded in the next 10 days, compared to the 4-year averages of 39 and 60 vessels, respectively. During the same period, ocean freight for shipping bulk grain from the U.S. Gulf to Japan was $30 per metric ton, 35 percent less than the 4-year average. The cost of shipping from the PNW to Japan was $16.50 per metric ton, 35 percent less than the 4-year average.

For the week ending October 1, barge grain movements totaled 695,317 tons, 56 percent higher than last week, and down 21 percent from the same period last year. For the week ending October 1, 453 grain barges moved down river, up 61 percent from last week; 820 grain barges were unloaded in New Orleans, up 11 percent from the previous week. For the week ending September 29, 42 ocean-going grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf, 2 percent less than the same period last year. Seventy-seven vessels are expected to be loaded within the next 10 days, 57 percent more than the same period last year. For the week ending September 29, the ocean freight rate for shipping bulk grain from the Gulf to Japan was $30 per metric ton, 1 percent less than the previous week. The cost of shipping from the PNW to Japan was $16.50 per metric ton, unchanged from the previous week.