Karl's Feed
Nov 29, 2012

US grain shippers cut loads as Mississippi River drafts decline

Nov 29 (Reuters) – U.S. grain exporters have slashed by up
to 50 percent the weight of cargo shipped by barges on the
Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico due to low water on a
critical stretch of the waterway after the worst drought in 56
years, grain traders and barge operators said on Thursday.

Barge companies, including Ingram Barge, have informed
exporters that the draft has been reduced to 8 feet from the
normal 12 feet for shipments on the Mississippi River north of
Cairo, Illinois, which means 800 tonnes less in cargo loaded on
barges.

Nov 27, 2012

Shippers seek White House’s help to keep Mississippi River open

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – Mississippi River barge operators and shipping groups on Tuesday asked U.S. President Barack Obama to declare a state of emergency on the river and direct the Army Corps of Engineers to keep the drought-lowered waterway open to commercial traffic to avert an “economic catastrophe.”

Water on the Mississippi River along the busy stretch from St. Louis to Cairo, Illinois was expected to recede to record-low levels by mid-December, effectively halting the flow of barges that carry billions of dollars worth of grain, coal, steel, fuel and other products.

Nov 19, 2012

Rally on US budget hopes, Mideast worries lift oil

CHICAGO, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Oil rallied nearly 3 percent on
Monday to the highest level since mid-October on worries about
escalating violence in the Middle East and on signs of progress
in talks to avert a looming U.S. budget crisis.

Gold climbed 1 percent, clawing back all of last week’s
decline, and copper rose to a two-week high in a broader
commodities market rally that also bolstered grains and softs.

Nov 16, 2012

Shipping curbs expected on drought-parched Miss. River

Nov 16 (Reuters) – Commercial shipping traffic on a stretch
of the Mississippi River will be restricted at some point in the
coming weeks due to low water, possibly halting the flow of
billions of dollars of goods such as grain and coal, industry
and government officials said Friday.

An official closure is unlikely, but the river could become
too shallow next month for most commercial vessels to transit a
busy section from St. Louis to Cairo, Illinois, as drought
measures stem the inflow of water from the Missouri River.

Nov 15, 2012

Export grain prices soar as US shippers fear Mississippi closure

Nov 15 (Reuters) – The possible closure of the Mississippi
River to navigation because of low water has sent prices soaring
for grain destined for export from the Gulf of Mexico, grain
traders said.

Water levels on the busy stretch of the river from St. Louis
to Cairo, Illinois, are forecast to drop to 9 feet or less by
early December as drought conservation measures have reduced the
flow of water from the Missouri River and its reservoir system
into the Mississippi River.

Nov 15, 2012

Slumping US corn exports to rebound as rivals sold out

CHICAGO, Nov 15 (Reuters) – U.S. corn exports are poised to
rebound from their worst slump in decades by early 2013 as rival
global suppliers from South America and the Black Sea region,
which have undercut the world’s top exporter for months, run low
on supplies.

Although the annual U.S. share of global corn exports may
continue to shrink in the face of stiffer competition worldwide,
the United States will likely dominate the market until at least
March when the next South American harvest is gathered.

Nov 8, 2012

Drought measures may curb Mississippi River shipping at St Louis

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – Commercial barge traffic on a critical stretch of the Mississippi River south of St. Louis may be severely restricted or halted entirely next month as drought conservation measures stem the inflow of water from the Missouri River, government and industry sources said on Thursday.

With the worst U.S. drought in 56 years sapping the reservoirs that feed the Missouri River, the flow of water from Gavins Point Dam, the system’s southernmost dam near Yankton, South Dakota, will be reduced beginning in the third week of November, the Army Corps of Engineers said.

Oct 24, 2012

Dominance of U.S. corn in Asia shaken by drought, price

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct 24 (Reuters) – The worst drought in half a
century has led long-time importers of U.S. corn to forge ties
with alternative suppliers, casting a shadow over the United
States’ continued dominance in the export markets, said foreign
grain buyers at a conference here.

Major importers in Asia, including South Korea, Taiwan and
top buyer Japan, have turned away from the United States as U.S.
corn prices soared to record highs this summer, buying feed from
South America and producers in the Black Sea region.

Oct 24, 2012

U.S. farm co-op CHS eyes expansion as industry consolidates

MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) – CHS Inc (CHSCP.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the largest U.S. farm co-operative, is seeking to expand its grain buying, storing and shipping assets to meet rising demand from Asia and tap increasing grain output in South America and eastern Europe, President and CEO Carl Casale said on Tuesday.

The Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota-based company has expanded its export facilities in the U.S. Pacific Northwest and Gulf Coast, South America and eastern Europe over the past two years, tapping several producing regions to help blunt the impact of weather-related crop shortfalls.

Oct 19, 2012

ADM’s quest for Australia’s GrainCorp heats up grain race

SYDNEY/CHICAGO (Reuters) – U.S. agriculture giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) raised the stakes in the global race for grains trading power on Friday, by seeking talks to buy smaller Australian shipper GrainCorp (GNC.AX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to build up its platform in Asia.

While several of Decatur, Illinois-based ADM’s up-and-coming rivals have focused on big deals in North America, Chairman and CEO Patricia Woertz’s potential $3 billion deal would add a vast network of elevators and terminals in the world’s No. 2 wheat exporter to its already key position supplying China.