Printable Page Corn News   Return to Menu - Page 1 2 3 4 5 6
 
 
Market Matters Blog           03/18 12:04
Snowmelt, Rain Wreak Havoc on US River Systems
Domestic DDG Average Price Steady
History Made as Bonnet Carre Spillway Opens
Domestic DDG Average Price Slightly Higher
Extreme Snow and Cold Affecting Rail Carriers Performance
Domestic DDG Average Price Steady
Flooding Slowing Traffic on U.S. Rivers and It's Not Even Spring Yet
Domestic DDG Prices Steady for Week
Domestic DDG Prices Steady
Infrastructure Funding Remains in Limbo

******************************************************************************
Snowmelt, Rain Wreak Havoc on US River Systems

   While the Upper Mississippi River (UMR) remains in winter hibernation, the 
rest of the river system is overflowing with excess water from snowmelt and 
recent rains. The flooding is preventing barges from moving grain and 
fertilizer for spring planting. 

   The UMR will not see its first barge until the ice on Lake Pepin, located on 
the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin, is below 15 inches -- and preferably 12 
inches -- for barges to break through. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) 
measured the ice on Lake Pepin on March 13, and the thickest ice remained in an 
area about halfway between Lake City, Minnesota, and Red Wing, Minnesota, where 
it was measured at 25 inches, up 1-inch versus the March 6 measurement. The 
next measurement is scheduled for March 20. 
(https://www.mvp.usace.army.mil/Portals/57/docs/Navigation/IceMeasurements/13-Ma
r-19%20Ice%20report.pdf?ver=2019-03-13-154104-877)  

   Even if Lake Pepin, located just above Lock and Dam 4, finally opens up for 
barges, it may be problematic for barges to move upriver as high water is 
hampering traffic all the way down to the Gulf. American Commercial Barge Line 
(ACBL) noted on their website March 15 that, because of the snowmelt and ice 
from the UMR heading downriver, Locks 16 through Lock 22 are expected to close 
by March 19. 

   On the Illinois River, waiting barge traffic was stopped at Marseilles Lock 
and Starved Rock Lock on March 15 because of the high-water flows creating 
dangerous conditions. The Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois, has reached major 
flood stage, and on March 17, was at 53.25 feet. Cairo is the confluence of the 
Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, and from there, the high water will continue to 
flow south, affecting the rest of the Mississippi River.

   Transit through the St. Louis, Missouri, harbor down through the railroad 
bridge at Thebes, Illinois, is restricted to daylight-only hours, noted ACBL. 
At Memphis, Tennessee, the Mississippi River is at flood stage. On March 17, 
the water level was 38.2 feet and is expected to rise to 38.5 feet by March 22 
before it starts its slow descent. From Memphis through the Vicksburg, 
Mississippi, bridge and into Baton Rouge, Louisiana, barges are only allowed to 
transit through there during daylight hours.

   In St. Charles Parish, Louisiana, about 12 miles west of New Orleans, the 
USACE said that crews will begin to slowly close the Bonnet Carre Spillway on 
March 15, with the rest of the spillway's closure gradually done depending on 
water levels. The USACE opened the spillway on Feb. 27 because of high water 
threatening New Orleans and nearby river communities. Prior to March 15, 206 
(75%) of the 350 bays had been opened.

   High water, coupled with unrelenting fog and rain, has substantially slowed 
operations at the Gulf since the second half of December. In its weekly Grain 
Transportation Report, USDA said that, for the week ended March 9, only 486 
grain barges were unloaded in the New Orleans area, the lowest since June 2017. 

   "This reduction shows in analysis of the number of barges unloaded weekly in 
New Orleans, with the four-week average being 21% less than the three-year 
average during the same period of the year," noted USDA.

   Adding to all of these issues, on two separate occasions, two towing vessels 
sank in Louisiana, likely due to the high and fast-moving water on the 
Mississippi River. On March 7, near Laplace, Louisiana, a towing vessel sank on 
the right descending bank on the Mississippi River. Then, on March 14, the U.S. 
Coast Guard closed a portion of the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge, after a 
towing vessel sank at 11:00 a.m. At 9:55 p.m. on March 14, the USCG issued a 
news release saying they reopened the waterway closure from mile marker 224.5 
to mile marker 226, but the area was still closed to general anchorage. Neither 
towing vessel was pushing barges.

   The Mississippi River at Baton Rouge has been above flood stage for weeks. 
On Sunday, March 17, the river level at Baton Rouge was at 44.13 feet (flood 
stage is 35 feet) and is expected to remain above flood stage through March.

   AG TRANSPORTATION AFFECTED BY FLOODING

   Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, said 
in an email to DTN that we often experience flooding this time of the year, but 
what is unique this year is the fact that: 

   1: The Midwest and Plains states received record snowfall in many areas. 

   2: The area experienced both extreme cold and persistent below freezing 
temperatures so that periodic snow and ice melting that often occurs was more 
limited. 

   3: The amount of snowfall and cold temperatures extended later than normal. 

   4: The ground in many areas of the country was already saturated from 2018.  

   "The high and more turbulent water conditions are resulting in barge 
transportation being restricted," said Steenhoek. "This decrease in the 
efficiency of barge transportation has contributed to a widening of basis at 
barge loading facilities along the inland waterway system. If a barge loading 
facility is less able to move product efficiently via their back door (due to 
restricted navigation on the river), there will be a decreased willingness to 
accept product from farmers via their front door.  The result is a decrease in 
the price offered to farmers (i.e. a widening or more narrow basis)." 

   On top of grain loadings being compromised, barges normally heading up river 
with fertilizer for spring planting will be slow to reach farmers.

   "April is often the leading month for northbound barge shipments of 
fertilizer," Steenhoek said. "We often focus on the use of barges for the 
export of soybeans and grain, but barge transportation is widely used for 
inputs, like fertilizer. These deliveries will likely be impeded."

   Flooding will also have an impact on rail ballast, gravel roads and rural 
bridges. 

   "I don't know of a gravel road or rail track that has a happy coexistence 
with flood conditions," said Steenhoek. "Rural bridges can also be subject to 
scour (the removal of sediment such a sand and gravel from around bridge 
abutments or piers) due to water volume and current. Local and county 
governments will be particularly stressed to manage these challenges." 

   The flooding is definitely having an impact on the rail carriers in the 
southern Midwest. On March 17, Union Pacific (UP) in a news release said that 
numerous UP subdivisions and corridors in Nebraska and Iowa continue to be out 
of service due to flooding and track washouts. 

   "Due to widespread flooding across our network, we have very limited reroute 
capability," noted the UP. Because of the flooding, Union Pacific is issuing 
embargoes. 

   Here is link to the UP announcement that lists the areas affected and has a 
link to the current embargoes: 
https://www.up.com/customers/announcements/customernews/generalannouncements/CN2
019-16.html 

   Meanwhile, back up north in St. Paul, Minnesota, the river has yet to show 
any issues from the snowmelt and currently sits at 5.8 feet. However, by the 
upcoming weekend, the Twin Cities is expected to reach the mid-50s Fahrenheit 
and as high as 60 degrees by Saturday, March 23, with most of the state 
following suit or at least reaching the 50-degree range. That means we will 
have a fast snowmelt, which is going to cause more flooding issues in 
tributaries and small streams south of the Twin Cities.

   The National Weather Service has predicted that the Mississippi River in St. 
Paul will come close to a minor flood stage of 14 feet by March 25. If 
forecasts for rain at the end of March into April pan out, we will likely see 
the river rise even more. That's not good news for the rest of the river system 
as that high water heads south to the Gulf. 

   Here is a link to all the U.S. river and tributaries conditions; current and 
long-range forecast: https://water.weather.gov/ahps/long_range.php 

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com 

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
Domestic DDG Average Price Steady

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The domestic distillers dried grains (DDG) average spot price 
from the 40 locations DTN contacted was unchanged at $142 per ton for the week 
ended March 14 versus the prior week. The EIA reported ethanol plant production 
was lower again for the week ended March 8, posting a 2% decline against a year 
ago, as plants head in to spring maintenance season. So far, there hasn't been 
talk of short DDG supplies at this time.

   Based on the average of prices collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative 
to corn for the week ended March 14 was at 109.98%. The value of DDG relative 
to soybean meal was at 47.05%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $5.26, 
compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $6.35.

   In its weekly update, the U.S. Grains Council noted that export distillers 
dried grain with solubles (DDGS) prices were unchanged to weaker this week 
compared to last week. "FOB vessel U.S. Gulf for April delivery is at $218/mt, 
down from last week. In part, lower liquidity as a result of challenging river 
logistics supported values from dropping further. Internationally, 40-foot 
containers to Southeast Asia (March delivery) were down $2/mt for April 
delivery, on average. Values for the Philippines were unchanged while values to 
Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand fell."

   Fog, wind and high water continue to slow barge and vessel movement in the 
Baton Rouge and Louisiana harbors. Tom Russell, Russell Marine, noted on March 
9, "The port remains very congested. Ships waiting entry at SWP (Southwest 
Pass) has been a common situation since January." On top of this, snow and ice 
melt is heading down river from the Midwest, and there is talk that Locks 16 
through 22 in the Upper Mississippi may close by the end of the weekend because 
of that. On the morning of March 14, the U.S. Coast Guard reported that a tow 
sank near Baton Rouge and the river was closed from mile marker 224.5 to mile 
marker 226 in order to locate the sunken vessel.


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION       CURRENT     PREVIOUS CHANGE
COMPANY   STATE                         3/14/2019    3/7/2019
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
          Missouri              Dry        $160        $160     $0
                                Wet        $82         $82      $0
Show Me Ethanol LLC, Carrollton, MO (660-542-6493)
          Missouri Subject      Dry        $155        $155     $0
                                Wet        $85         $85      $0
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
          Illinois              Dry        $150        $150     $0
          Indiana               Dry        $145        $145     $0
          Iowa                  Dry        $135        $135     $0
          Michigan              Dry        $145        $145     $0
          Minnesota             Dry        $140        $140     $0
          North Dakota          Dry        $145        $145     $0
          New York              Dry        $160        $160     $0
          South Dakota          Dry        $145        $145     $0
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
          Kansas                Dry        $145        $145     $0
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
          Indiana               Dry        $138        $135     $3
          Iowa                  Dry        $135        $135     $0
          Michigan              Dry        $130        $130     $0
          Minnesota             Dry        $135        $135     $0
          Missouri              Dry        $155        $155     $0
          Ohio                  Dry        $140        $140     $0
          South Dakota          Dry        $142        $142     $0
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
          Kansas                Dry        $140        $140     $0
                                Wet        $60         $60      $0
          Illinois              Dry        $150        $150     $0
          Nebraska              Dry        $140        $140     $0
                                Wet        $60         $60      $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
          Illinois              Dry        $137        $137     $0
          Indiana               Dry        $138        $138     $0
          Iowa                  Dry        $135        $135     $0
          Michigan              Dry        $130        $130     $0
          Minnesota             Dry        $130        $130     $0
          Nebraska              Dry        $135        $135     $0
          New York              Dry        $155        $155     $0
          North Dakota          Dry        $155        $155     $0
          Ohio                  Dry        $145        $145     $0
          South Dakota          Dry        $140        $140     $0
          Wisconsin             Dry        $135        $135     $0
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas (210-345-3362) (210-345-3362)
          Indiana               Dry        $150        $150     $0
          Iowa                  Dry        $135        $135     $0
          Minnesota             Dry        $135        $135     $0
          Nebraska              Dry        $135        $135     $0
          Ohio                  Dry        $155        $155     $0
          South Dakota          Dry        $140        $140     $0
          California                       $209        $209     $0
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
          California            Dry        $217        $218    -$1
*Prices listed per ton.
          Weekly Average                   $142        $142     $0
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

             VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
               Settlement Price: Quote Date   Bushel Short Ton
                            Corn   3/14/2019 $3.6150   $129.11
                    Soybean Meal   3/14/2019 $301.80
   DDG Weekly Average Spot Price     $142.00
                      DDG Value Relative to:  3/14      3/7
                                        Corn 109.98%   111.69%
                                Soybean Meal  47.05%    47.02%
                   Cost Per Unit of Protein:
                                         DDG   $5.26     $5.26
                                Soybean Meal   $6.35     $6.36
Notes:
Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
History Made as Bonnet Carre Spillway Opens

   The opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway on Feb. 27 was the first time in 
history that it had been opened in consecutive years. It is also the third time 
in four years that it has been opened, and the 13th time it has been operated 
since construction was completed in 1931. Operation of the structure will 
relieve pressure on mainline levees, maintain river stages, and regulate the 
flow downriver from the spillway, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 
(USACE). 

   USACE said that the opening of the spillway, located in St. Charles Parish, 
Louisiana, became necessary due to this winter being one of the wettest winters 
in the Mississippi flood valley in 100 years. The spillway can divert a portion 
of the river's floodwaters via Lake Pontchartrain into the Gulf of Mexico, thus 
allowing high water to bypass New Orleans and other nearby river communities, 
according to the USACE. The structure has a design capacity of 250,000 cubic 
feet per second (CFS), the equivalent of roughly 1,870,000 gallons per second.

   "Environmental, hydrologic, structural and navigational considerations all 
bear on the decision to open Bonnet Carre," noted USACE. "Other factors that 
affect the decision are the overall condition of the levees and the ability of 
the river to pass flows, and the effects high water and river currents may have 
on vessels navigating the river. The Corps has a detailed environmental 
monitoring plan in place that will assess water quality, dissolved oxygen, 
sedimentation, recreation and natural resources such as the pallid sturgeon, 
both within the spillway as well as Lake Pontchartrain."

   Crews will adjust how many bays are opened every day based on water levels. 
As of Friday, March 8, 188 of the spillway's 350 bays are open. It is expected 
the spillway will remain open for at least a month.

   BATON ROUGE AND NEW ORLEANS HARBORS REMAIN AT FLOOD STAGE

   While water levels are expected to drop slowly below flood stage in the 
Baton Rouge and New Orleans harbors, high water levels are still expected for 
an extended period, according to Tom Russell of Russell Marine Group.  

   "Flood stage safety protocols remain in place, slowing traffic and movements 
throughout the Port," said Russell. "The Port remains very congested. Ships 
waiting entry at Southwest Pass (SWP) has been a common situation since 
January. Currently there are 60+ ships waiting entry at SWP. High water coupled 
with unrelenting fog and rain have substantially slowed operations since the 
second half of December. Unusually warm weather will bring another round of fog 
and rain this week."

   According to the March 7 USDA weekly Grain Transportation Report, for the 
week ended March 2, barge grain movements totaled 239,000 tons; 39% less than 
the previous week and down 38% from the same period last year. For the week 
ending March 2, 161 grain barges moved down river, which is 83 barges less than 
the previous week. There were 513 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans, 19% 
lower than the previous week. 

   It is looking like there may not be much of a break in the flooding in the 
Lower Mississippi River (LMR), given the expectations for the likelihood of 
spring flooding in the Upper Mississippi River (UMR), starting in the St. Paul 
Minnesota District. According to a flood outlook released March 7 by the 
National Weather service in Chanhassen, Minnesota, the amount of snow water 
equivalent in the snowpack in Minnesota is in the upper 10% of historical 
records over a widespread area. 

   To see flood outlook, click on this link:

   https://nwschat.weather.gov/p.php?pid=201903072356-KCAR-FGUS71-ESFCAR

   The mess at the Gulf and LMR continues to cause slowdowns of barges trying 
to make their way to the swollen Gulf. All of this has added to inflated basis 
values, and at times, higher barge freight. Besides moving grain down river, 
moving fertilizer upriver could also become an issue as spring planting nears. 

   Currently standing in the way of barges heading north is a seven-mile long 
ice gorge located just above mile 343 near Lock and Dam 20 in Canton, Missouri. 
On top of that, the UMR is nowhere near ready to open for shipping, as Lake 
Pepin (near Lock and Dam 4) remains frozen over, stopping barges from breaking 
through the ice to get to St. Paul, Minnesota. As of March 6, the ice was 23 
inches deep and had actually thickened since the prior measurement. The next 
measurement by USACE will take place on March 13. The opening was also late 
last year (average opening is March 22) as the first barges finally got through 
Lake Pepin and reached St. Paul, Minnesota, on April 11, 2018.

   Here is a link to the National Weather Service's 2019 Winter/Spring Flood 
Outlook #5, which was published on March 7:

   https://www.weather.gov/marfc/WinterSpring_Flood_Outlook 

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
Domestic DDG Average Price Slightly Higher

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The domestic distillers dried grains (DDG) average spot price 
from the 40 locations DTN contacted was steady to 1 cent higher at $142 per ton 
for the week ended March 7 versus the prior week. Prices have been flat 
recently, on average, and for the month of February. The DTN average price was 
steady at $141 per ton.

   Spot truck values collected by DTN are slightly higher on average, with 
another increase noted in California prices. Weekly Class 1 railroad service 
updates sent to the Surface Transportation Board show that most rail carriers 
who serve California have a backlog of cars to deliver because of the continued 
rain causing ongoing flooding there in the past few weeks, hampering rail 
movement.  

   Based on the average of prices collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative 
to corn for the week ended March 7 was at 111.69%. The value of DDG relative to 
soybean meal was at 47.02%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $5.26, 
compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $6.36.

   In its weekly DDGS update, the U.S. Grains Council noted that FOB vessel 
U.S. Gulf for April delivery is at $227 per metric ton (down slightly from the 
prior week). "The industry expects another month of challenging logistics on 
the Mississippi river system as a result of weather. U.S. rail rates were 
unchanged for nearby delivery. Internationally, 40-foot containers to Southeast 
Asia (March delivery) were down $2 per metric ton (mt) for April delivery, on 
average."

   The U.S. Census Bureau reported on March 6 that U.S. exports of DDGS totaled 
890,491 mt in December, down from 1,016,544 mt in November and down 9% from a 
year ago. U.S. DDGS continue to find broad interest with Mexico, Vietnam, 
Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea listed as the top five destinations. 2018 
ended with exports of U.S. DDGS up 8% from a year ago.


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION            CURRENT        PREVIOUS   CHANGE
COMPANY    STATE                              3/7/2019       2/28/2019
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
           Missouri                 Dry         $160           $150       $10
                                    Wet         $82             $78       $4
Show Me Ethanol LLC, Carrollton, MO (660-542-6493)
           Missouri Subject         Dry         $155           $155       $0
                                    Wet         $85             $85       $0
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
           Illinois                 Dry         $150           $150       $0
           Indiana                  Dry         $145           $145       $0
           Iowa                     Dry         $135           $135       $0
           Michigan                 Dry         $145           $145       $0
           Minnesota                Dry         $140           $140       $0
           North Dakota             Dry         $145           $145       $0
           New York                 Dry         $160           $160       $0
           South Dakota             Dry         $145           $145       $0
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
           Kansas                   Dry         $145           $145       $0
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
           Indiana                  Dry         $135           $135       $0
           Iowa                     Dry         $135           $135       $0
           Michigan                 Dry         $130           $130       $0
           Minnesota                Dry         $135           $134       $1
           Missouri                 Dry         $155           $155       $0
           Ohio                     Dry         $140           $143       -$3
           South Dakota             Dry         $142           $145       -$3
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
           Kansas                   Dry         $140           $140       $0
                                    Wet         $60             $60       $0
           Illinois                 Dry         $150           $150       $0
           Nebraska                 Dry         $140           $140       $0
                                    Wet         $60             $60       $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
           Illinois                 Dry         $137           $137       $0
           Indiana                  Dry         $138           $138       $0
           Iowa                     Dry         $135           $135       $0
           Michigan                 Dry         $130           $130       $0
           Minnesota                Dry         $130           $130       $0
           Nebraska                 Dry         $135           $135       $0
           New York                 Dry         $155           $155       $0
           North Dakota             Dry         $155           $155       $0
           Ohio                     Dry         $145           $145       $0
           South Dakota             Dry         $140           $140       $0
           Wisconsin                Dry         $135           $135       $0
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas    (210-345-3362)     (210-345-3362)
           Indiana                  Dry         $150           $150       $0
           Iowa                     Dry         $135           $135       $0
           Minnesota                Dry         $135           $135       $0
           Nebraska                 Dry         $135           $135       $0
           Ohio                     Dry         $155           $155       $0
           South Dakota             Dry         $140           $140       $0
           California                           $209           $204       $5
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
           California               Dry         $218           $214       $4
*Prices listed per ton.
           Weekly Average                       $142           $141       $1
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

   **


VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
Settlement Price:                         Quote Date     Bushel    Short Ton
Corn                                      3/7/2019       $3.5600   $127.14
Soybean Meal                              3/7/2019       $302.00
DDG Weekly Average Spot Price             $142.00
DDG Value Relative to:                                   3/7       2/28
Corn                                                     111.69%   109.06%
Soybean Meal                                             47.02%    46.64%
Cost Per Unit of Protein:
DDG                                                      $5.26     $5.22
Soybean Meal                                             $6.36     $6.36
Notes:
Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com 

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
Extreme Snow and Cold Affecting Rail Carriers Performance

   Snowfall records fell all over the western U.S in February, from Seattle to 
Spokane, Washington, to Missoula, Montana, reported the Minneapolis Star 
Tribune on March 1. Storm after storm during February produced record snowfall 
across the Upper Midwest.

   In the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, it was the snowiest month since 
1991 and now is the fourth snowiest month on record. The February record was 
shattered with 39.0 inches, according to the National Weather Service. St. 
Cloud, Minnesota, broke its February record with 27.6 inches, making February 
2019 now its snowiest. In North Dakota, snowfall records for February were also 
set. According to the NWS Grand Forks, Grand Forks airport measured 23.2 
inches, the Grand Forks NWS office saw 27.0 inches and Fargo recorded 21.4 
inches -- all new snowfall records for February. Billings, Montana, saw its 
third snowiest February on record at 26.7 inches.

   I assume after reading all of those snow totals, you get the drift (no pun 
intended). All of that snow has been piling up, and to make matters worse, the 
high winds in those states caused snowdrifts, making travel miserable, 
especially for trains moving along the Northern Plains from Minnesota all the 
way to the Pacific Northwest. On top of all of the snow, extreme cold is 
setting in again in those states, which also is a challenge for rail carriers.

   DERAILMENTS/TRACK OUTAGES CAUSE SLOWDOWNS

   On Feb. 24, the BNSF reported a snow plow derailed at McIntosh, South 
Dakota, due to severe weather. McIntosh, South Dakota, is approximately 87 
miles southwest of Bismarck, North Dakota. The main track was returned to 
service on Feb. 25 at 3:30 p.m. CT.

   On Feb. 25 the BNSF reported a train derailment near Milbank, South Dakota, 
impacting the main line with no route around. Milbank, South Dakota, is 
approximately 125 miles north of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The derailment 
happened when the train, which was hauling grain, hit a pickup truck that was 
stuck in a snowdrift at a rail crossing in town. The main track was returned to 
service Feb. 26 at 9 p.m. CT.

   On March 1, a Canadian Pacific (CP) train derailed near the south end of 
Carlos, Minnesota, north of Alexandria. More than two dozen train cars near the 
middle of the train derailed. There were no injuries and no public safety 
issues, reported the CP. The cars were carrying grain and potash, and no 
hazardous materials were involved. The cause of the incident is under 
investigation.

   On March 2, a train derailed in rural Foster County in Bordulac, North 
Dakota, roughly 10 minutes south of Carrington. One of the cars possibly 
contained ammonia and a hazardous materials team was called in to investigate, 
according to the Grand Forks Herald.

   WEEKLY RAILROAD REPORTS TO STB SHOW EFFECTS OF BAD WEATHER

   In the weekly data from the Class I rail carriers on their service 
performance, required by the Surface Transportation Board (STB), rail carriers 
note how far behind car placements are through Feb. 22. The full reports 
covered the week prior to the weekend of more snow in the Northern Plains and 
Midwest and prior to the derailments mentioned above. The BNSF noted that in 
Minnesota, 338 cars are one to 10 days past due, and 115 cars are 11 or more 
days past due. In North Dakota, 979 cars are one to 10 days past due, and 379 
cars are 11 or more days past due. In South Dakota, 441 cars are one to 10 days 
past due, and 110 cars are 11 or more days past due. In Nebraska, 211 cars are 
one to 10 days past due, and 110 cars are 11 or more days past due, while in 
Kansas, 572 cars are one to 10 days past due.

   A shuttle loader in northeastern North Dakota said the railroad has had 
issues with lack of power due to the serious cold and extreme snow all the way 
along the northern tier to the Pacific Northwest (PNW). "Now the problems 
continue in March and we are hoping it doesn't spill in to April," he noted. 

   The CP noted that in Minnesota, 357 cars were one to 10 days past due and in 
North Dakota, 206 cars were one to 10 days past due, and 220 cars 11 or more 
past days due. On March 2, the CP notified customers that an outage occurred on 
Friday afternoon on Detroit Lakes Subdivision and another one Saturday morning 
on the Carrington Subdivision. On March 4, the CP announced to customers that 
CP's north/south routes "have now both been restored. The track outage on 
Detroit Lakes Subdivision cleared late Saturday evening, and Carrington 
Subdivision outage cleared at 0600 this morning. CP is enacting our recovery 
plan. Customers may expect near term delays of up to 48 hours." 

   The Canadian National noted that 50 cars were one to 10 days past due in 
Iowa and 235 were one to 10 days past due in Illinois. The Union Pacific noted 
that 66 cars were one to 10 days past due in Kansas, two cars were past due in 
Minnesota and five cars were past due in Nebraska.

   SECONDARY FREIGHT AND BASIS STRENGTHEN DUE TO SLOWDOWNS

   The prices for secondary shuttle freight have been rising for several weeks. 
As of March 4, bids for first half March secondary shuttle freight were at 
$3000 per car over tariff, versus $3800 per car offered. A shuttle loader also 
noted that $3000 per car was bid on a return shuttle and that it would probably 
trade closer to $4000 per car over tariff.

   The March shuttle basis posted on March 1 for soybeans delivered to the 
Pacific Northwest was 13 cents stronger at +70K (over the May futures) and the 
corn shuttle basis delivered to the PNW was 10 cents stronger at +140K.

   Todd Yeaton, shuttle facility manager, Kimball, South Dakota, told me that, 
"Two months ago, there was no West Coast bid (as we had discussed) because of 
the weather and vessel logistics jamming trains on that end. One facility was 
known to have one week of shuttle backlog, paying demurrage on over a dozen 
trains. That's what precipitated the beginning of this meltdown and freight 
issue."

   Yeaton said that since early winter, they have seen service steadily 
decline, which has been reflected in the high priced secondary freight market, 
but in basis as well. As of the week ending Feb. 23, the BNSF reported that 
shuttle trips per month were at 2.1, versus their last report for the week 
ending Feb. 9 at 2.7.

   Dwell time after release, with shuttles sometimes sitting in between the 
origin and destination, adds to issues faced by end users. "With them not 
moving at all, of course rolls downhill, and origins are falling behind on 
contract applications," said Yeaton. "That causes us to step in and buy a 
return trip to hit the delivery period, which costs two to three to four times 
the margin we are running."

   A shuttle loader in northeastern North Dakota told me that some grain 
companies are charging shippers for being late on contract. "We have heard 
nickels and dimes discounts (per bushel) per day being applied to late shuttle 
placements and billing," he noted.

   Yeaton said it is frustrating because when empties are pushed in to his 
facility, there is less "flex" than in the past for spot times. "With secondary 
freight costs running so high, the traffic departments of the respective 
companies are on origins to turn as quickly as possible. Dwell time is lost 
money because the traffic brokers want the chance to sell into this market to 
realize the unexpected freight gains." According to the weekly update by the 
BNSF to the STB, the dwell time for the week ending Feb. 22 system wide was at 
31.5 hours, with one of the longest being in their Northtown, Minnesota yard at 
41.0 hours. The CP noted that system wide, dwell time was at 17.7 hours, with 
the longest being in Harvey, North Dakota, at 38.9 hours.

   "What will come in to play next is the temporary storage that needs to be 
reclaimed and on top of that, spring is coming," added Yeaton.  

   Here is a link to the BNSF network update to customers dated March 1: 
https://domino.bnsf.com/website/updates.nsf/updates-customer-agricultural/A0C0AF
4D69D9CF73862583B0007BAD30?Open

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
Domestic DDG Average Price Steady

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The domestic distillers dried grains (DDG) average spot price 
from the 40 locations DTN contacted was steady at $141 per ton for the week 
ended Feb. 28 versus the prior week. 

   Spot truck values collected by DTN are firm on average with a notable 
increase in California prices. A merchandiser there said logistics are 
"abysmal" and getting worse in reference to the rain and snow causing flooding 
in parts of the state. Logistics in the Northern Plains were also a mess after 
last week's blizzard that caused many major roads to close, especially in 
southern Minnesota in to Wisconsin. 

   Based on the average of prices collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative 
to corn for the week ended Feb. 28 was at 109.06%. The value of DDG relative to 
soybean meal was at 46.64%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $5.22, 
compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $6.36.

   In their weekly DDGS update, the U.S. Grains Council noted that FOB vessel 
U.S. Gulf for April delivery is at $224/mt, as barge logistics remain 
challenging. "Better weather in the coming weeks should help push more product 
volume to the Gulf. U.S. rail rates were unchanged for nearby delivery. 
Internationally, 40-foot containers to Southeast Asia (March delivery) were 
down $5/mt for March delivery, on average. Merchandisers have reported some 
volatility in prices as global buyers interpret macroeconomic and trade policy 
news. Meanwhile, multiple sales to Vietnam were reported."

   The entire Lower Mississippi River is a mess and a recent accident at 
Vicksburg has closed the river south of there. A tow hit the Vicksburg Bridge, 
sinking 4 barges on Feb. 27 and until they are recovered, traffic will be 
stopped from going through Vicksburg and south down to the Gulf. Tom Russell, 
Russell Marine Group told DTN, "New Orleans and Baton Rouge Harbors continue to 
struggle with stoppages and slowdowns due high water, fog, and rain. At least 
30% of production capacity has been lost, creating a backlog of ships waiting 
to load. The river in the harbor will remain at flood stage throughout the 
month of March. Expect high water conditions for an extended period of time." 


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION       CURRENT     PREVIOUS CHANGE
                                                      2/21/
COMPANY   STATE                         2/28/2019      2019
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
          Missouri              Dry        $150        $150     $0
                                Wet        $78         $78      $0
Show Me Ethanol LLC, Carrollton, MO (660-542-6493)
          Missouri Subject      Dry        $155        $155     $0
                                Wet        $80         $80      $0
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
          Illinois              Dry        $150        $150     $0
          Indiana               Dry        $145        $145     $0
          Iowa                  Dry        $135        $135     $0
          Michigan              Dry        $145        $145     $0
          Minnesota             Dry        $140        $140     $0
          North Dakota          Dry        $145        $145     $0
          New York              Dry        $160        $160     $0
          South Dakota          Dry        $145        $145     $0
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
          Kansas                Dry        $145        $145     $0
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
          Indiana               Dry        $135        $136    -$1
          Iowa                  Dry        $135        $134     $1
          Michigan              Dry        $130        $130     $0
          Minnesota             Dry        $134        $134     $0
          Missouri              Dry        $155        $149     $6
          Ohio                  Dry        $143        $145    -$2
          South Dakota          Dry        $145        $145     $0
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
          Kansas                Dry        $140        $140     $0
                                Wet        $60         $60      $0
          Illinois              Dry        $150        $150     $0
          Nebraska              Dry        $140        $140     $0
                                Wet        $60         $60      $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
          Illinois              Dry        $137        $137     $0
          Indiana               Dry        $138        $138     $0
          Iowa                  Dry        $135        $130     $5
          Michigan              Dry        $130        $130     $0
          Minnesota             Dry        $130        $128     $2
          Nebraska              Dry        $135        $130     $5
          New York              Dry        $155        $155     $0
          North Dakota          Dry        $155        $155     $0
          Ohio                  Dry        $145        $145     $0
          South Dakota          Dry        $140        $140     $0
          Wisconsin             Dry        $135        $135     $0
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas (210-345-3362) (210-345-3362)
          Indiana               Dry        $150        $150     $0
          Iowa                  Dry        $135        $135     $0
          Minnesota             Dry        $135        $135     $0
          Nebraska              Dry        $135        $135     $0
          Ohio                  Dry        $155        $160    -$5
          South Dakota          Dry        $140        $140     $0
          California                       $204        $197     $7
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
          California            Dry        $214        $208     $6
*Prices listed per ton.
          Weekly Average                   $141        $141     $0
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

             VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
               Settlement Price: Quote Date   Bushel Short Ton
                            Corn   2/28/2019 $3.6200   $129.29
                    Soybean Meal   2/28/2019 $302.30
   DDG Weekly Average Spot Price     $141.00
                      DDG Value Relative to:  2/28     2/21
                                        Corn 109.06%   105.14%
                                Soybean Meal  46.64%    46.09%
                   Cost Per Unit of Protein:
                                         DDG   $5.22     $5.22
                                Soybean Meal   $6.36     $6.44
Notes:
Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
Flooding Slowing Traffic on U.S. Rivers and It's Not Even Spring Yet

   Looking at the picture featured with this article may cause some confusion 
as related to the title of the story about flooding on the rivers. The portion 
of the Upper Mississippi River at Lock and Dam 10 and north in to St. Paul, 
Minnesota -- cared for by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) St. Paul 
District -- is closed for the winter, and frozen portions of the river and 
ice-covered locks in that section are a sheer contrast to the flooding 
occurring below there. 

   On the Ohio River, American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) reported on Feb. 22 
that the flooding conditions on the Ohio River (OR) has reduced the max tow 
size to 12 barges from 15. "Daylight-only operations southbound at the 
following locks, Markland (OR Mile 531), McAlpine (OR M607), Newburgh (OR 
M776), John T. Myers (OR M846) and Illinois Central railroad bridge in Cairo 
(OR M976)," noted ACBL.

   Tom Russell of Russell Marine Group told DTN on Feb. 21 that the Smithland 
Lock at OR M918 is inoperable and closed to all barge traffic. "Forecasts call 
for a bit of a drying trend that will help relieve high water. The lock closure 
at OR M918 is expected to be in effect until the first week of March. The 
closure will have a major impact on supply chain until reopened."

   The Illinois River has had ice slowdowns/stoppages over the last few weeks, 
but a recent warming trend has allowed conditions to improve. "Traffic is 
moving slowly due to ice and the fact that the river is above flood stage in a 
few areas. The forecast calls for a return to below freezing temps in the 
coming week," said Russell.

   While the St. Louis Harbor area has no ice, and water levels are normal, tow 
sizes southbound out of St. Louis are subject to safety protocols due to the 
high water south of there.

   The Ohio River at Cairo is currently in major flood stage at 54.88 feet and 
is expected to rise to 56.5 feet by March 1 and stay there for three to four 
days. The National Weather Service (NWS) on Feb. 24 noted that major flooding 
was occurring along the Ohio River at Smithland Dam, Paducah and Cairo.

   "The Lower Mississippi River (LMR) is experiencing high water at above flood 
stage levels from Cairo to New Orleans. Traffic is moving but slowed due to tow 
size reductions and daylight only movements is some areas. Some barge loading 
terminals on the LMR are unable to load due high water," added Russell. 

   "New Orleans and Baton Rouge Harbors continue to fight operational slowdowns 
and stoppages due to high water and weather; unrelenting fog and rain," said 
Russell. "Safety protocols are in place, which slows barge and ocean vessel 
traffic considerably. Since Jan. 1 to Feb. 21, operational production in the 
Harbor has been reduced by an estimated 30% due to these factors. Port 
congestion remains a problem with limited anchorage available." Moderate 
flooding is occurring and major flooding is forecast for the Mississippi River 
at Baton Rouge noted the NWS. The river is expected to continue rising to near 
43.5 feet by Monday, March 18.

   Due to the rising river levels, the USACE is expected to begin opening bays 
of the Bonnet Carre Spillway as soon as Feb. 28 to deal with a rapidly rising 
Mississippi River that, by March 17, could swell to 17 feet, the official flood 
stage at the Carrollton Gage in New Orleans. If the USACE does open the 
spillway, it would mark the third time the spillway has opened since 2016.

   The U.S. river system may not return to normal levels anytime soon. Once the 
snowmelt occurs in Minnesota (after recording over 35 inches of snow in Feb.) 
and states south of there, the flooding will start in St. Paul, Minnesota, and 
continue all the way down to the Gulf as the water heads south. 

   On Feb. 21, the NWS released their 2019 Spring Flood Outlook noting that, 
"Over the Upper Mississippi River basin in Minnesota, Wisconsin and much of 
Iowa into northern Missouri, snow water equivalents and snow depths are well 
above what is typically observed. Conditions are favorable for significant 
flooding, particularly if rainfall over the spring months is above the seasonal 
average."

   If the flooding becomes severe enough, river terminals may have to stop 
loading out, and if empty barges can't make it upriver that would add to the 
slowdowns. It would be detrimental to farmers who rely on river shipping, with 
some already suffering financial consequences from the trade war, which is 
causing poor soybean basis bids due to the lack of China buying U.S. soybeans 
not only during harvest, but since late summer 2018.

   It's going to be a long spring and early summer for everyone along the 
rivers, especially in the states where the winter snowfall has already exceeded 
expectations. 

   ... And, it's only February.

   Here is a link to the entire NWS Spring Flood Outlook: 
https://www.weather.gov/lsx/springfloodoutlook

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
Domestic DDG Prices Steady for Week

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The domestic distillers dried grains (DDG) average spot price 
from the 40 locations DTN contacted was steady at $141 per ton for the week 
ended Feb. 21 versus the prior week. 

   Spot truck values collected by DTN are steady on average with merchandisers 
telling DTN demand from the hog and poultry sector has been flat. Truckers are 
also having trouble moving product in the areas of the Midwest faced with 
continued snow and ice on roads. 

   Based on the average of prices collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative 
to corn for the week ended Feb. 21 was at 105.14%. The value of DDG relative to 
soybean meal was at 46.09%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $5.22, 
compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $6.44.

   In their weekly DDGS update, the U.S. Grains Council noted that DDGS 
indications were generally up this week from last. "At the U.S. Gulf, March 
delivery is becoming hard to find, and values have increased accordingly. FOB 
vessel U.S. Gulf for April delivery is at $221/mt. Barge logistics continue to 
be challenged by winter storms that have brought rain, ice and snow to the U.S. 
Midwest. U.S. rail rates were up $3/mt on average for nearby delivery. 
Forty-foot containers to Southeast Asia (March delivery) were up $5/mt for 
March delivery, on average."

   New Orleans and Baton Rouge Harbors continue to fight operational slowdowns 
and stoppages due to high water and unrelenting fog and rain. "Safety protocols 
are in place which slows barge and ocean vessel traffic considerably. Since 
Jan. 1 to Feb. 21, operational production in the harbor has been reduced by an 
estimated 30% due to these factors," said Tom Russell, Russell Marine Group. 
"Port congestion remains a problem with limited anchorage available. The queue 
of ships waiting entry at the Southwest Pass as of Fe. 21 stands at 45."


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION       CURRENT     PREVIOUS CHANGE
                                                      2/14/
COMPANY STATE                           2/21/2019      2019
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
        Missouri            Dry            $150        $150     $0
                            Modified       $78         $80     -$2
Show Me Ethanol LLC, Carrollton, MO (660-542-6493)
        Missouri Subject    Dry            $155        $150     $5
                            Wet            $80         $80      $0
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
        Illinois            Dry            $150        $145     $5
        Indiana             Dry            $145        $140     $5
        Iowa                Dry            $135        $130     $5
        Michigan            Dry            $145        $145     $0
        Minnesota           Dry            $140        $135     $5
        North Dakota        Dry            $145        $140     $5
        New York            Dry            $160        $155     $5
        South Dakota        Dry            $145        $140     $5
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
        Kansas              Dry            $145        $145     $0
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
        Indiana             Dry            $136        $136     $0
        Iowa                Dry            $134        $134     $0
        Michigan            Dry            $130        $130     $0
        Minnesota           Dry            $134        $134     $0
        Missouri            Dry            $149        $149     $0
        Ohio                Dry            $145        $145     $0
        South Dakota        Dry            $145        $145     $0
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
        Kansas              Dry            $140        $140     $0
                            Wet            $60         $60      $0
        Illinois            Dry            $150        $145     $5
        Nebraska            Dry            $140        $140     $0
                            Wet            $60         $60      $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
        Illinois            Dry            $137        $137     $0
        Indiana             Dry            $138        $135     $3
        Iowa                Dry            $130        $130     $0
        Michigan            Dry            $130        $135    -$5
        Minnesota           Dry            $128        $130    -$2
        Nebraska            Dry            $130        $130     $0
        New York            Dry            $155        $152     $3
        North Dakota        Dry            $155        $165    -$10
        Ohio                Dry            $145        $145     $0
        South Dakota        Dry            $140        $140     $0
        Wisconsin           Dry            $135        $140    -$5
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas (210-345-3362) (210-345-3362)
        Indiana             Dry            $150        $150     $0
        Iowa                Dry            $135        $135     $0
        Minnesota           Dry            $135        $135     $0
        Nebraska            Dry            $135        $135     $0
        Ohio                Dry            $160        $160     $0
        South Dakota        Dry            $140        $140     $0
        California                         $197        $197     $0
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
        California          Dry            $208        $210    -$2
*Prices listed per ton.
        Weekly Average                     $141        $141     $0
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

             VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
               Settlement Price: Quote Date   Bushel Short Ton
                            Corn   2/21/2019 $3.7550   $134.11
                    Soybean Meal   2/21/2019 $305.90
   DDG Weekly Average Spot Price     $141.00
                      DDG Value Relative to:  2/21     2/14
                                        Corn 105.14%   105.35%
                                Soybean Meal  46.09%    46.15%
                   Cost Per Unit of Protein:
                                         DDG   $5.22     $5.22
                                Soybean Meal   $6.44     $6.43
Notes:
Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

    

******************************************************************************
Domestic DDG Prices Steady

   OMAHA (DTN) -- The domestic distillers dried grains (DDG) average spot price 
from the 40 locations DTN contacted was steady at $141 per ton for the week 
ended Feb. 14 versus the prior week. 

   Spot truck values collected by DTN are steady with merchandisers telling DTN 
the market was quiet the past week. Energy Information Administration data 
released Wednesday showed plant production rising for the first time in four 
weeks, as plants are able to manage the winter weather better after the polar 
vortex presented a challenge for some of their plant equipment, noted a few 
merchandisers.

   Based on the average of prices collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative 
to corn for the week ended Feb. 14 was at 105.35%. The value of DDG relative to 
soybean meal was at 46.15%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $5.22, 
compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $6.43.

   In their weekly DDGS update, the U.S. Grains Council noted that DDGS 
indications were mostly unchanged this week on the heels of the Lunar New Year 
celebrations. Forty-foot containers to Southeast Asia (March delivery) were 
unchanged. Prices at the U.S. Gulf ticked up as barge logistics continue to 
complicate nearby delivery, and U.S. rail rates were up $1 per metric ton on 
average. "With Asian buyers returning to the market following the holiday lull, 
merchandisers report an uptick in business from especially Southeast Asia, 
including Vietnam. Additional interest from Egypt and the Mediterranean is 
being reported as well."

   Logistics on most of the U.S. river system remain a challenge for barges 
heading to the Gulf. "Baton Rouge and New Orleans Harbors have had weather 
related stoppages and slowdowns including high water, rains, and fog since 
[the] end [of] December. This has been [an] unprecedented period of time 
without relief," said Tom Russell, Russell Marine Group. "In the Harbor, safety 
protocols due [to] high water are in place. Added to that, above average rains 
in the Ohio River Valley, high water on Lower Mississippi and the Nola/Baton 
Rouge Harbors will be an issue for [an] extended period of time and last 
months."


ALL PRICES SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION       CURRENT     PREVIOUS CHANGE
COMPANY STATE                           2/14/2019    2/7/2019
Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300)
        Missouri            Dry            $150        $150     $0
                            Modified       $80         $80      $0
Show Me Ethanol LLC, Carrollton, MO (660-542-6493)
        Missouri Subject    Dry            $150        $150     $0
                            Wet            $80         $80      $0
CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066)
        Illinois            Dry            $145        $145     $0
        Indiana             Dry            $140        $140     $0
        Iowa                Dry            $130        $130     $0
        Michigan            Dry            $145        $145     $0
        Minnesota           Dry            $135        $135     $0
        North Dakota        Dry            $140        $140     $0
        New York            Dry            $155        $155     $0
        South Dakota        Dry            $140        $140     $0
MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253)
        Kansas              Dry            $145        $145     $0
POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799)
        Indiana             Dry            $136        $138    -$2
        Iowa                Dry            $134        $136    -$2
        Michigan            Dry            $130        $130     $0
        Minnesota           Dry            $134        $137    -$3
        Missouri            Dry            $149        $154    -$5
        Ohio                Dry            $145        $142     $3
        South Dakota        Dry            $145        $143     $2
United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521)
        Kansas              Dry            $140        $145    -$5
                            Wet            $60         $60      $0
        Illinois            Dry            $145        $150    -$5
        Nebraska            Dry            $140        $145    -$5
                            Wet            $60         $60      $0
U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640)
        Illinois            Dry            $137        $137     $0
        Indiana             Dry            $135        $135     $0
        Iowa                Dry            $130        $130     $0
        Michigan            Dry            $135        $135     $0
        Minnesota           Dry            $130        $130     $0
        Nebraska            Dry            $130        $130     $0
        New York            Dry            $152        $152     $0
        North Dakota        Dry            $165        $165     $0
        Ohio                Dry            $145        $145     $0
        South Dakota        Dry            $140        $140     $0
        Wisconsin           Dry            $140        $140     $0
Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas (210-345-3362) (210-345-3362)
        Indiana             Dry            $150        $150     $0
        Iowa                Dry            $135        $135     $0
        Minnesota           Dry            $135        $135     $0
        Nebraska            Dry            $135        $135     $0
        Ohio                Dry            $160        $160     $0
        South Dakota        Dry            $140        $140     $0
        California                         $197        $197     $0
Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074)
        California          Dry            $210        $210     $0
*Prices listed per ton.
        Weekly Average                     $141        $141     $0
The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN
collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska,
Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and
California are not included in the averages.

             VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL
               Settlement Price: Quote Date   Bushel Short Ton
                            Corn   2/14/2019 $3.7475   $133.84
                    Soybean Meal   2/14/2019 $305.50
   DDG Weekly Average Spot Price     $141.00
                      DDG Value Relative to:  2/14      2/7
                                        Corn 105.35%   106.35%
                                Soybean Meal  46.15%    46.81%
                   Cost Per Unit of Protein:
                                         DDG   $5.22     $5.30
                                Soybean Meal   $6.43     $6.43
Notes:
Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price
represents the average spot price from Midwest companies
collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit
of protein is cost per ton divided by 27.

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************
Infrastructure Funding Remains in Limbo

   During the signing of the tax overhaul bill on Dec. 22, 2017, President 
Donald Trump said, "Infrastructure is by far the easiest," according to a 
Washington Post article from Jan. 3, 2018. "People want it -- Republicans and 
Democrats. We're going to have tremendous Democrat support on infrastructure as 
you know. I could've started with infrastructure -- I actually wanted to save 
the easy one for the one down the road. So we'll be having that done pretty 
quickly," the Washington Post quoted the president as saying.

   Over one year later, there is still no firm plan for how to fund and fix the 
nation's aging infrastructure. In March 2018, the American Society of Civil 
Engineers (ASCE) released their 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, an assessment 
of the condition of the nation's infrastructure across 16 categories (roads, 
bridges, railroads, inland waterways, etc.). This report card is issued every 
four years. The overall grade for the entire 16 categories was a D-plus. 
(https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/) 

   At that time, in regard to the infrastructure report card, Mike Steenhoek, 
executive director of Soy Transportation Coalition (STC), told DTN: "First of 
all, it's hard to have an A-plus economy and A-plus agriculture with a D-plus 
infrastructure. In order to be profitable, it is not sufficient to stimulate 
supply and demand. It is also essential to stimulate greater connectivity with 
supply and demand. Transportation infrastructure provides that connectivity." 

   Steenhoek continued: "I like to argue that agriculture has one of the most 
diverse and elongated supply chains of any industry in existence. We are 
heavily exposed to and dependent upon our system of roads and bridges, highways 
and interstates, inland waterways, railroads and ports. Farmers do not have the 
luxury of locating themselves in proximity to infrastructure. Rather, farmers 
hope infrastructure locates in proximity to them. Our viability as an industry 
depends upon having each of these modes being properly maintained and providing 
seamless transition from one to the other."  

   After President Trump's State of the Union speech last week, in which the 
president called for a bipartisan effort to address the needs of the nation's 
infrastructure, I asked Steenhoek again about his thoughts on the subject.

   Here is what Steenhoek had to say: "While we are very appreciative of the 
inclusion of transportation infrastructure during the President's remarks, we 
are particularly hopeful that this intention will soon become an outcome. We 
encourage the President and Congress to enhance not just the transportation 
needs of urban America, but also the needs of rural America.

   "The temptation among our elected leaders is to regard transportation 
challenges in terms of urban congestion or long commute times. While this is 
most certainly a frustrating reality for many Americans that should be 
addressed, we must also be attentive to the addressing the challenges of moving 
freight, including agricultural freight."

   The ASCE report card provided proof that our infrastructure is crumbling and 
is in dire need of funding. The nation's roads received a D-minus, with inland 
waterways, dams and levees receiving the next lowest grade of D. 

   In 2018, the Soy Transportation Coalition released its "Top 10 Most Wanted 
List" of infrastructure priorities. Steenhoek told me last week that the STC is 
hopeful any effort by our elected leaders to address our transportation 
challenges will include some or all of these priorities.   

   Soy Transportation Coalition's "Top 10 Most Wanted List" of Transportation 
Priorities:

   -- Maintenance and rehabilitation of locks and dams to significantly reduce 
the potential for unexpected, widespread and prolonged failure. Priority should 
be devoted to ensuring the reliability of locks and dams along the nation's 
inland waterways. 

   -- Dredging the lower Mississippi River between Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to 
the Gulf of Mexico to 50 feet.  

   -- Ensuring the Columbia River shipping channel from Portland, Oregon, to 
the Pacific Ocean is maintained at no less than 43 feet.  

   -- Permit six-axle, 91,000-pound semis to operate on the interstate highway 
system.  

   -- Increase the federal fuel tax by 10 cents a gallon and index the tax to 
inflation. Ensure rural areas receive proportionate, sufficient funding from 
the fuel tax increase.  

    -- Provide greater predictability and reliability of funding for the locks 
and dams along the inland waterway system.

   -- Provide block grants to states to replace the top 20 most critical rural 
bridges.

   -- Provide grants to states to implement rural bridge load testing projects 
to more accurately diagnose which bridges are sufficient and which are 
deficient.  

   -- Ensure full utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for port 
improvement initiatives.

   -- Permanent (or at least multi-year) extension of the short-line railroad 
tax credit.

   Steenhoek commented that one particular infrastructure investment included 
on the list that could provide substantial benefit to farmers would be to 
dredge the lower Mississippi River from 45 feet to 50 feet. A deeper river 
would allow both larger ships to be utilized and current ships being utilized 
to be loaded with more revenue-producing freight

   "The 256-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 
to the Gulf of Mexico accounts for 60% of U.S. soybean exports, along with 59% 
of corn exports -- by far the leading export region for both commodities," said 
Steenhoek. "The STC research highlighted that shipping costs for soybeans from 
Mississippi Gulf export terminals could decline 13 cents per bushel ($5 per 
metric ton) if the lower Mississippi River is dredged to 50 feet."  

   The STC research further estimated farmers in the 31 evaluated states could 
annually receive an additional $461 million for their soybeans due to a more 
favorable basis resulting from dredging the lower Mississippi River to 50 feet. 
"All too often, infrastructure projects can only provide a theoretical benefit. 
Dredging the lower Mississippi River is an example of a tangible investment 
having a tangible impact on farmers throughout the country," said Steenhoek.

   None of that matters if our current lock and dam system fails, shutting off 
commerce on the river system. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has said 
in the past that it is "unable to adequately fund maintenance activities to 
ensure the navigation system operates at an acceptable level of performance." A 
failure of significant duration, especially during and after harvest, would 
have a negative impact on the soybean and grain industries and cause farmers to 
lose money, affecting their profitability. 

   Steenhoek noted that, in 2013, Congress allocated $4.7 billion to the Army 
Corps of Engineers' Civil Works Program, which is the account responsible for 
maintaining and improving our nation's locks and dams. The current 
appropriations bill allocated $6.9 billion -- a 47% increase over five years. 

   "Congress and the Administration need to build on this momentum in order to 
provide a well-maintained system of locks and dams. A failure at one or more of 
these sites would have severe consequences on the competitiveness of the 
American farmer," said Steenhoek. 

   "We sincerely hope a bipartisan effort can produce an infrastructure 
initiative that benefits the needs of both urban and rural areas of this 
country," said Steenhoek. "It is time for infrastructure to move from the on 
deck circle to the batter's box."  

   Here is a link to the STC website: http://www.soytransportation.org/. 

   Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com 

   Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn

******************************************************************************

For more free DTN information sent right to your email each morning - click here to sign up for DTN Snapshot.
 
 
Copyright DTN. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.
Powered By DTN