CHICAGO, April 19 (Reuters) – Torrential downpours across a
broad swath of the U.S. Midwest this week are easing the worst
drought in more than 50 years, flooding streams, snarling river
transportation, stalling corn plantings – and changing the
outlook for the American farm economy in 2013.
The Army Corps of Engineers is closing locks along a
150-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from roughly Davenport
in Iowa to Hannibal, Missouri. Barge traffic was backing up
Thursday, as water levels were too high for barges to take on
April 18 (Reuters) – Seven Mississippi River locks between
Muscatine, Iowa, and Saverton, Missouri, were expected to close
beginning on Friday as the rain-swollen waterway rises above
flood stage, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said on Thursday.
The closures of Locks 16 through 22 will effectively shut
the river to commercial navigation from central Iowa to northern
April 11 (Reuters) – China’s largest purchase of U.S. soft
red winter (SRW) wheat in at least nine years on Thursday should
be followed by more big purchases this year as Beijing rebuilds
depleted reserves and takes advantage of cheap imports to meet
its growing need for livestock feed, analysts and trade sources
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday said private
dealers sold 360,000 tonnes of U.S. SRW wheat to China for
shipment in the 2013/14 (June/May) marketing year. That is part
of a larger deal that was announced in China last week.
CHICAGO, April 9 (Reuters) – Grain analysts continue to
scratch their heads over a huge corn stocks estimate released by
the U.S. government in late March, leading them to an unusually
wide range of estimates for the next world agricultural supply
and demand report (WASDE) from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture report on Wednesday.
One division of USDA – the World Agricultural Outlook Board
(WAOB) – will issue the monthly forecasts of how much grain
will be produced and consumed worldwide in the coming year,
including its view of how much corn will be left in the United
States on Aug. 31, the end of the marketing year in the world’s
biggest grain exporting nation.
BUENOS AIRES/CHICAGO, March 26 (Reuters) – The first
shipment of Argentine corn to the United States this year is on
its way with more to follow, marking an increase in orders from
the South American country to the world’s top corn producer as
it recovers from drought, traders said on Tuesday.
The United States usually imports small amounts of the grain
each year, mostly from Canada. Cargos from faraway Argentina are
rare. It sent less than 72,000 tonnes of corn to the United
States in 2012, about the amount than can fit in one large ship.
March 25 (Reuters) – Contract talks between a group of U.S.
Pacific Northwest grain exporters and a dockworkers’ union
remained stalemated on Monday after the first bargaining session
in three months, aided by a federal mediator, broke down on
A second meeting scheduled for Saturday was canceled.
No further talks were scheduled between the International
Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and three of the four grain
companies in the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association:
United Grain, Louis Dreyfus and Columbia Grain.
WINNIPEG, Manitoba/CHICAGO, March 19 (Reuters) – Canadian
corn is flowing to U.S. ethanol plants and feed suppliers in
larger than usual volumes, with up to 1 million tonnes expected
in 2012/13, as a large Ontario crop backfills demand after last
year’s severe U.S. drought.
Canada is normally a net importer of corn, feeding Eastern
Canada’s pigs and poultry and supplying Ontario ethanol plants.
But the worst U.S. drought in more than 50 years has forced corn
buyers to look north.
March 5 (Reuters) – The International Longshore and
Warehouse Union (ILWU) filed an unfair labor practice charge
against United Grain Corp (UGC) after its members were locked
out of the company’s Vancouver, Washington, grain export
terminal last week.
The charge was filed with the U.S. National Labor Relations
Board by ILWU Local 4 on Monday.
Feb 27 (Reuters) – United Grain Corp (UGC) on Wednesday
locked out union workers from its Port of Vancouver grain export
terminal in the U.S. Pacific Northwest after an investigation
unearthed evidence that a union leader sabotaged equipment
there, a spokesman for the grain company said.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)
disputed the charge and said the lockout was a response to the
union’s recent contract agreement with a competing grain
Feb 1 (Reuters) – Mississippi River barge traffic remained
congested on Friday near Vicksburg, Mississippi, where a barge
accident and oil spill shuttered the major shipping artery on
Sunday, but the backlog of boats was slowly declining.
The U.S. Coast Guard reopened the river on Wednesday to
one-way traffic through a 16-mile safety zone from river mile
marker 425 to 441, where the backlog of barges had ballooned to
more than 1,000.