By Karl Plume
(Reuters) – Commercial shipping traffic was moving again on the Mississippi River south of St. Louis after a pair of barge accidents that forced the U.S. Coast Guard to close the waterway over the weekend, but navigation remained severely impaired further north.
Flooding following torrential rains across the central United States forced the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to close about a dozen locks on the Illinois River and the Mississippi River north of St. Louis late last week.
April 22 (Reuters) – Barge shipping on the Illinois River
and parts of the Mississippi River was at a standstill on Monday
as flooding forced the closure of numerous locks and crews
worked to recover dozens of barges that broke free in
The U.S. Coast Guard will close a section of the Illinois
River near Peoria to all traffic later on Monday to protect
levees, and was considering shipping restrictions in other areas
as heavy currents made navigation treacherous.
April 19 (Reuters) – Barge shipping was halted Friday on
parts of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers as flooding forced
the closure of several locks until at least the middle of next
week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Friday.
Eight Mississippi River locks, from Lock 15 at Rock Island,
Illinois, to Lock 22 at Saverton, Missouri, were closed between
Thursday evening and Friday morning as water in the rain-swollen
river overtopped the dams, said Rob Germann, operations manager
for the Army Corps’ Mississippi River project, Rock Island
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.