WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The amount of grain moving by barge on the locking portions of the Mississippi, Ohio and Arkansas rivers is down 7% from last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nov. 8 Grain Transportation Report.
As of Nov. 3, year-to-date grain barge tonnage was 31.7 million tonnes, down from 34.2 million tonnes at the same time in 2017. The drop was attributed to significantly reduced demand from China and poor navigation conditions.
Year-to-date corn barge shipments were up 5% to 19.9 million tonnes, according to the report. This was not enough to offset the 20% decline to 10.2 million tonnes in soybean shipments.
As of Nov. 6, barge spot rates from major interior shipping locations were 16% to 28% lower than the 5-year average, the USDA said.