Moving Grain: $500Mln in Relief for Ag Transportation Challenges

    Photo: U.S. Grains Council

    USDA Provides $500 Million in Relief for Agricultural Marketing/Distribution/Transportation Challenges

    On September 29, USDA announced $3 billion in investments targeting “urgent challenges facing agriculture today,” as part of Secretary Vilsack’s work as co-chair of the President’s Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force. Of the $3 billion total, $500 million will be made available via the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide relief from increased transportation challenges, scarcity and rising costs of certain materials, and other near-term obstacles related to the marketing and distribution of certain commodities .

    International Trade Organizations Call on World Leaders To Help “Secure Global Supply Chains”

    On September 29, an open letter from global trade organizations urged world leaders to work together “to remove restrictions hampering the free movement of transport workers, and guarantee and facilitate their free and safe movement.”

    These organizations assert such actions are urgently needed to secure global supply chains. Specifically, the letter proposes prioritizing transport workers to receive World Health Organization-recognized vaccines, as well as implementing “globally harmonised, digital, mutually recognised vaccination certificate and processes for demonstrating health credentials (including vaccination status and COVID-19 test results).”

    The collective industries represented by the organizations behind the letter account for more than $20 trillion of world trade annually (according to the letter). The industries include 65 million global transport workers, over 3.5 million road freight and airline companies, and more than 80 percent of the world merchant shipping fleet.

    FHWA Awards Louisiana $5 Million for Hurricane Ida Relief Efforts

    The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently awarded $5 million in “quick release” emergency relief (ER) funds to assist the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) in repairing roads and bridges damaged by Hurricane Ida.

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    FHWA’s ER program provides funding for highways and bridges damaged by natural disasters or catastrophic events. The quick-release ER funds are intended to restore the most essential transportation links—to Federal-aid highways—disrupted by Hurricane Ida. Additional, subsequent ER funds may be available to continue less urgent repairs to roads and bridges.

    The repairs will stabilize damaged roadway embankments, replace destroyed signage, and repair and rebuild damaged roads and bridges, including removal of bridge scour.

    Snapshots by Sector

    Export Sales

    For the week ending September 23, unshipped balances of wheat, corn, and soybeans for marketing year 2021/22 totaled 50.9 million metric tons (mmt), down 16 percent from same time last year. Net corn export sales were 0.370 mmt, down 1 percent from last week. Net soybean export sales were 1.094 mmt, up 21 percent from last week. Net weekly wheat export sales were 0.290 mmt, down 19 percent from last week.


    U.S. Class I railroads originated 21,864 grain carloads during the week ending September 25. This was a 13-percent increase from the previous week, 13 percent less than last year, and 1 percent lower than the 3-year average.

    Average October shuttle secondary railcar bids/offers (per car) were $270 above tariff for the week ending September 30. This is $538 less than last week and $711 lower than this week last year. There were no non-shuttle bids/offers this week.


    For the week ending October 2, barged grain movements totaled 492,522 tons. This was 163 percent higher than the previous week and 3 percent lower than the same period last year.

    For the week ending October 2, 295 grain barges moved down river—183 barges more than the previous week. There were 637 grain barges unloaded in New Orleans Region, 63 percent more than last week.


    For the week ending September 30, 26 oceangoing grain vessels were loaded in the Gulf—40 percent fewer than the same period last year. Within the next 10 days (starting October 1), 53 vessels were expected to be loaded—4 percent fewer than the same period last year.

    As of September 30, the rate for shipping a metric ton (mt) of grain from the U.S. Gulf to Japan was $84.25. This was 2 percent more than the previous week. The rate from the Pacific Northwest to Japan was $46.50 per mt, 2 percent more than the previous week.


    For the week ending October 4, the U.S. average diesel fuel price increased by 7.1 cents from the previous week to $3.477 per gallon, $1.090 above the same week last year. At $3.43 per gallon, Midwest diesel prices are the highest since December 2014.

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