Karl's Feed
Oct 20, 2014

No export bonanza this year from record U.S. harvest

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The largest U.S. grain harvest in history has pushed prices to four-year lows, which usually means a sales bonanza for the world’s largest food exporter. Not this year.

Traditional rivals and aggressive new competitors with their own huge harvests, such as Ukraine and Russia, are leveraging the dollar’s strength to snap up a bigger share of a market that is shrinking as importers themselves boost output.

Oct 8, 2014

All major U.S. railroads must report service statistics: regulator

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – The top U.S. rail regulator ruled on Wednesday that all Class 1 railroads operating in the United States must provide detailed weekly freight service reports, a decision that cited months of congestion that has hit the grain and power industries particularly hard.

Carriers must submit detailed data on average train speeds, dwell times and other service metrics on a temporary basis beginning on Oct. 22, the Surface Transportation Board said. They must also jointly submit a narrative summary of operating conditions at the Chicago gateway, a busy rail hub that is a choke point in the national network.

Oct 8, 2014

All major U.S. railroads must report service stats -regulator

Oct 8 (Reuters) – The top U.S. rail regulator ruled on
Wednesday that all Class 1 railroads operating in the United
States must provide detailed weekly freight service reports, a
decision that cited months of congestion that has hit the grain
and power industries particularly hard.

Carriers must submit detailed data on average train speeds,
dwell times and other service metrics on a temporary basis
beginning on Oct. 22, the Surface Transportation Board said.
They must also jointly submit a narrative summary of operating
conditions at the Chicago gateway, a busy rail hub that is a
choke point in the national network.

Oct 8, 2014

The Big Data bounty: U.S. startups challenge agribusiness giants

By Karl Plume

MAPLE PARK Ill. (Reuters) – Chris Gould’s combine cab is loaded like the cockpit of a fighter jet he used to fly as he harvests soybeans in northern Illinois, steered by satellites, four video screens glowing with up to minute updates about his crop and the work’s progress.

The setup, light years from what it was when the former Navy pilot started farming nine years ago, includes technology from Monsanto and Deere & Co.. But alongside them is an iPad running an app by tiny startup 640 Labs, boasting every bit as much savvy as the Goliaths’ latest offerings.

Oct 7, 2014

Cargill reports lower Q1 profit amid slumping grain markets

CHICAGO, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Cargill Inc, a top global
commodities trader, said on Tuesday its quarterly earnings fell
as global grain and oilseed prices tumbled in anticipation of a
record-large U.S. harvest and as turmoil in some countries
impacted its operations.

Minneapolis-based Cargill noted that its fiscal first
quarter ended Aug. 31 was “marked by a great deal of
geopolitical uncertainty,” including inflation in Venezuela and
Argentina, violence in eastern Ukraine, and tightening credit
markets in China.

Sep 30, 2014

Marubeni venture expands in U.S. Pacific Northwest

Sept 30 (Reuters) – Archer Daniels Midland Co
strengthened its hand in the global grains marketplace by
acquiring a stake in a second export terminal in the U.S.
Pacific Northwest, a vital gateway for U.S. agricultural
shipments to Asia.

Illinois-based ADM said on Tuesday that it gained an
ownership stake in the Columbia Grain export terminal in
Portland, Oregon, by expanding its Kalama Export Company joint
venture with Japanese grain trader Marubeni Corp,
previously the terminal’s sole owner.

Sep 27, 2014

Chicago-area air traffic center fire grounds 1,750 flights

CHICAGO, Sept 26 (Reuters) – A fire apparently set by an
employee at a Chicago-area air traffic control center led to the
cancellation of more than 1,700 flights at the city’s two major
airports, snarling air traffic across the United States,
officials said.

Flights resumed at O’Hare International Airport, one of the
world’s busiest, after a delay of about four hours, but there
were bottlenecks across the entire air system that carriers
expect to last through the weekend.

Sep 26, 2014

Air traffic center fire grounds flights in Chicago, snarls traffic

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An intentionally set fire at a Chicago-area air traffic control center led to the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights at the city’s two major airports, snarling air traffic across the nation.

The blaze at the facility in Aurora, outside of Chicago, apparently was set by a man who suffered self-inflicted wounds, Aurora police said. There were no indications that it was an act of terrorism and the blaze was extinguished, it said.

Sep 25, 2014

US river freight system near breaking point as huge harvest looms

CHICAGO, Sept 25 (Reuters) – With a record U.S. harvest just
coming in, the river transportation system that is at the heart
of the nation’s farm economy is overstrained by rising demand
for shipping capacity, a low barge inventory, and a dilapidated
lock system.

The pressure is building on an inland waterways network that
is just one flood, drought or mechanical breakdown from calamity
after decades of neglect, industry sources say.

Sep 25, 2014

Wheat sinks on higher dollar; harvest hits corn and soy

CHICAGO, Sept 25 (Reuters) – U.S. wheat futures plunged more
than 2 percent on Thursday to a four-year low on fears that a
rising dollar could hamper global demand for U.S. exports as
global supplies rise to a record high.

Corn and soybeans dropped about 1 percent on spillover
pressure from sinking wheat and on rising supplies from the
rapidly advancing harvest of record-large crops.