February 27, 2020 | USDA Grain Transportation Report
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High Water Persists in Mississippi River System

In some areas, grain elevators have been inoperable

Several gauges on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers remain at flood stage, but the navigation challenges have not resulted in higher barge rates.

Now at their lowest level since 2017, rates have declined or not changed for the past 6 weeks at all river spans in GTR table 9.

In some areas, such as the lower Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, grain elevators have been inoperable, reducing shippers’ demand for barge services.

A number of other factors reduce demand for what are typically export-driven barge services.

These factors include increased domestic use of corn for feed and an uncertainty surrounding international trade.

Lowered demand for barge services puts downward pressure on rates. That dampening effect has, so far, outweighed the upward rate pressure from supply chain difficulties.

Because both supply and demand reductions produce lower quantities sold, the current market has few shipments selling despite low rates. 

Information provided by USDA Grain Transportation Report.

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