Karl's Feed
Jan 5, 2013

No deal yet on Illinois pension fix: state House speaker

CHICAGO (Reuters) – A fix for Illinois’ public pension crisis remained elusive on Saturday after a meeting between Democratic Governor Pat Quinn and legislative leaders failed to produce a deal.

State House of Representatives Speaker Michael Madigan, a Democrat, said that it was still possible to reach a deal in time to be voted on early next week by the Legislature.

Jan 2, 2013

Mississippi River nears historic lows, shipping at risk

Jan 2 (Reuters) – The drought-drained Mississippi River will
rise slightly later this week between St. Louis and Cairo,
Illinois, but later continue its decline toward historic lows,
according to a National Weather Service forecast.

Low water, due to the worst U.S. drought since 1956, has
already impeded the flow of billions of dollars worth of grain,
coal, fertilizer and other commodities between the central
United States and shipping terminals at the Gulf of Mexico.

Jan 2, 2013

Mississippi River approaching historic lows, shipping at risk

By Karl Plume

(Reuters) – The drought-drained Mississippi River will rise slightly later this week along a stretch between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois, but will then continue its decline toward historic lows, according to a National Weather Service forecast.

Low water due to the worst U.S. drought since 1956 has already impeded the flow of billions of dollars in grain, coal, fertilizer and other commodities between the central United States and export terminals at the Gulf of Mexico.

Dec 18, 2012

Rock clearing begins on drought-hit Mississippi River

By Karl Plume

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

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 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
Wednesday.

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
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.