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 increased freight rates, especially barge cost. Based on USDA’s freight cost index (base year 2000), average barge rates this summer are up more than 60 percent from last summer. Average truck rates are up 28 percent, while average rail is up 7 percent.
The rise in freight cost has helped weaken basis for corn destined for the Gulf, but as Reuters reports, basis is staying firm for processors who are trying to encourage farmer selling after the downturn in corn futures.
Higher transport costs reflect record grain exports
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