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Soybean Barge Tonnages Lower than Last Year

Reversal of typical harvest shipping, storing practices may continue

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As of September 29, calendar year-to-date soybean shipments on the locking portions of the Mississippi, Ohio and Arkansas rivers were 9.2 million tons, 13% lower than last year, according to the USDA Grain Transportation Report.

During the same time period, corn barge tonnages were 18.4 million tons, 3% higher than last year. During September, the three-year average (2015-17) of grain and oilseed movements by barge are 49% corn, 40% soybeans, and 11% other grains. During September 2018, the share of barged grain is 65% corn, 32% soybeans, and 3% other grains.

With China’s 25% tariff on U.S. soybeans, industry sources say more corn and less other grains is being sold at harvest to make room for more soybean storage. This reversal of typical harvest shipping and storing practices may continue in upcoming weeks with changes to the normal ratio of corn and soybeans moved by barge.

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