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Heavy Ice Disrupts Barge Traffic

All operations on the Illinois River have ceased

Extremely cold weather throughout the central U.S. has caused ice accumulations on portions of the rivers and at locks and dams.

For the week ending Dec. 30, downbound grain barge tonnages at Mississippi River Locks 27 (near St. Louis) were down 27%, mostly due to a decrease in soybean movements. However, due to better navigation conditions and no repair delays, downbound grain tonnages at Ohio River Locks and Dam 52 were up 24% for the same period.

With the cold temperatures and icy conditions, grain barge rates, as of Jan. 2, rose 15% for export grain on the Illinois River and 9% on the Mississippi River at St. Louis as compared to last week.

As of Jan. 3, barge operators have reported that all operations on the Illinois River have ceased due to heavy ice.

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