Barge Rate Spike Puts Pressure on River Markets
Strong demand for soybean shipping helps boost barge rates 10-20 cents over the past week. Basis softens along the river terminals as a result.
Increases of 10 to 20 cents a bushel in barge rates the past week put significant pressure on river terminal basis. Thanks to strong demand for soybean barging, rates have begun to move higher which pressured river basis levels, with losses of 10 to 20 cents a bushel fairly common along the river system this week.
For the week ending October 25, corn and soybean basis levels were up 1 cent a bushel on average across the country.
In the corn market, Western Cornbelt ethanol plants continue to push hard on basis to meet their needs where +40 basis levels are fairly common by key buyers. In comparison, this time of year those same plants are generally paying -20 on basis. However, other ethanol plants around the country were more moderated, leading to al ethanol plants being up only 0.8 cents for the week. At the Gulf, basis levels were up 2 cents for the week.
For the soybean market, basis levels were also substantially lower along the river with a loss of 10-cents per bushel reported by river terminals this past week even though the Gulf was up 4 cents. Weakness continues through the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic as double-crop beans continue be harvested in full force. However, soybean crushing plants were up 3.5 cents a bushel this week and gains in the Western Cornbelt were fairly typical as harvest finishes up.