Karl's Feed
Dec 18, 2012

U.S. Army Corps clearing rocks from drought-hit Mississippi

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, in its largest such undertaking in at least 25 years, on Tuesday began clearing a shallow stretch of the drought-hit Mississippi River of rocks impeding the flow of billions of dollars’ worth of goods to the Gulf Coast.

A shipping superhighway that links much of the central United States to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi is near record-low levels due to the worst U.S. drought since 1956.

Dec 5, 2012

Barges pulled, Mississippi River woes limit grain flow

Dec 5 (Reuters) – Some freight companies have pulled their
barges from the mid-Mississippi and Illinois Rivers until March
as low water after a severe drought disrupted business during
the peak of the grain export season, industry sources said on

Some grain terminals along the Mississippi River have
stopped selling soybeans to exporters at the U.S. Gulf for fear
of not being able to deliver the cargoes because of critically
low water levels between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois.

Nov 30, 2012

Cargill cuts barge draft due to low Mississippi River

Nov 30 (Reuters) – Cargill Inc’s barge company
said on Friday it has limited the volume of commodities that can
be loaded onto its vessels due to low water on the Mississippi
River and expects the situation to worsen along the critical
shipping waterway.

Drafts on northbound barges were limited to 8 feet (2.4
meters), down from 9 feet or more normally. Similar curbs on
southbound barges carrying grain and other goods from farms in
the Midwest to export terminals at the Gulf of Mexico were
imminent, said Richard Calhoun, president of Cargo Carriers.

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

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.