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Grain Shipment Prices High Despite Falling Diesel Prices

Grain Transportation Report shows things are improving for grain shippers

Steven Kilger 2 Headshot
Photo by rgaudet17 at Pixabay
Photo by rgaudet17 at Pixabay

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Grain Transportation Report for August 11 had some good news for grain shippers during a period of soaring prices.

For the first time since March, diesel prices have fallen below $5/gallon on average across the U.S.

Diesel prices have fallen for the past seven consecutive weeks to an average of $4.993, but prices are still far above last year's price of $3.364.

High fuel prices, high demand for trucking services increase

Truck shipment rates and ocean freight rates as the nation prepares for harvest.

  • Shipping soybeans from the Midwest via the Gulf Coast has risen by 35% over last year's prices
  • The cost to move soybeans by truck is up 67.26%
  • Moving soybeans by barge is up over 50% from last year
  • Ocean transport is up 21.47%

Besides fuel prices and a higher demand for shipping carriers then, there is supply, the Russia-Ukraine war, fluctuating Chinese demand and rising global inflation, according to the USDA.

Prices are rising for U.S. agricultures competitors as well, with shipping costs in Brazil rising almost 40%.

The August 11 Grain Transportation Report also covers:

  • BNSF Railway Company (BNSF) and the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) opened a new rail hub at the Port of Tacoma that will handle 50,000 annual container lifts.
  • Canadian National Railway (CN) and BNSF Railway (BNSF) announced their capital plans for 2022. CN will invest over $250 million in midwestern states, and BNSF will be expanding its Southern Transcon route, which has been linked to container delays in Los Angeles/Long Beach ports and Chicago and has been a bottleneck for feed shippers trying to send product to California livestock producers.
  • The Memphis District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is spending 7.3 million to dredge Memphis Harbor/McKellar Lake, Wolf River Harbor, Elvis Stahr Harbor, Helena Harbor Phillips County, Northwest Tennessee Regional Harbor, Caruthersville Harbor, Helena Harbor, New Madrid County Harbor, and Osceola Harbor. The dredging should be complete by January 2023.
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