Winter storms ignite more volatility in natural gas

A series of winter storms across the country brought a record-shattering blizzard for New England states and travel headaches across the Midwest with thousands of cancelled flights. As areas of low pressure collided with a cold arctic mass across the U.S. in January, much [...]

Mexico’s HFCS imports down as shutdown impact lingers

In early 2020, before the pandemic upended things, Mexico seemed to be on track to import usual volumes of high fructose corn syrup, at least of refined-sugar-substitute HFCS-55, used mainly in soft drinks. The U.S. had already abandoned earlier (circa 2012) hopes of robust [...]

After quiet October, barge rates rise in November

Most-recent data from USDA show barge freight costs rose to 224 on the transportation cost index, a two-month high. Rail’s index level has remained steady at 284 since the beginning of October, while truck rates have fluctuated between 204 and 207 since mid-September. Freight [...]

Strong summer exports keep transportation costs high

The U.S. has exported over 17.0 MMT of corn during June-August—with another week still to go in August reporting—which is a record for the period. Soybean exports are also already at a record June-August volume, at nearly 9.0 MMT. All this late-season strength has [...]

Keep an eye on crude oil’s impact on freight costs

You may remember when freight rail costs went crazy back in 2014 due to the sharp increase in domestic U.S. crude oil production. As we reported back then: “U.S. crude oil production has surged since 2012, when fracking and other new drilling technologies opened [...]

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