Rail Delays Slow Shipments, Pushing Prices Up Despite Bumper Crops
ONIDA, S.D.—The worst rail delays in more than a decade are impeding crop shipments in the Midwest, causing grain-storage facilities to fill up and sending pries for corn, soybean and soybean meal up sharply.
Congestion on railroad networks, now threatening to extend into a second year in the U.S. Farm Belt, is forcing some buyers to purchase additional soybean meal, used mainly in animal feed, to ensure a steady supply, analysts said.
That helped push futures prices up 11% in the past week. And soybeans and corn both jumped by around 7% as livestock and poultry operations in the eastern U.S. rushed to avoid feed shortages and speculators bid up the price of the commodities related to soy meal, analysts said.
Oswego port needs federal designation to export grain, Sen. Schumer says
The port each year receives about 10 million bushels of grain — primarily soybeans, corn and wheat — that some companies transport by rail to Virginia, where it’s exported because the Oswego port isn’t eligible for grain exports, Schumer said in a press release. The port is served by CSX Transportation.
If the port received a certificate from the USDA to conduct required weighings and inspections to safely export grain, it could export the products and grow its footprint in the area, said Schumer.
“Each day, goods like aluminum, cement and salt come in and out of the Port of Oswego, so it makes no sense why grains can come in but cannot be shipped out,” he said. “The inability to export grains is a lost opportunity for the port and the entire central New York economy.”