🚀 AI-picked stocks soar in May. PRFT is +55%—in just 16 days! Don’t miss June’s top picks.Unlock full list

Flooding on Upper Mississippi River to halt barge traffic for weeks -USDA

Published 04/27/2023, 03:33 PM
Updated 04/27/2023, 03:36 PM
© Reuters.

By P.J. Huffstutter

CHICAGO (Reuters) - All barge traffic will be halted across a wide swath of the Upper Mississippi River for weeks, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday, as record winter snowfall in the upper Midwest is now melting and flooding into waterways.

The closures will force grain and fertilizer shippers to find alternative, potentially more costly, transportation by truck or rail, freight experts said.

Such floods have become part of a volatile cycle for the U.S. waterway, a major transportation artery moving some 60% of American grain exports from the heartland to the global market via the Gulf Coast.

Just last fall, drought plagued the lower and middle Mississippi River valley, sending river levels plunging to historic lows, halting barge shipments.

Now, all locks and dams above Lock 17 - near New Boston, Illinois - will be closed for the next three weeks, and no freight is being accepted along the Twin Cities and mid-Mississippi portions of the river, USDA said in a weekly transportation report.

Such closures are pushing down barge freight rates. [BG/US]

Though it is not a busy export period for the United States, the closures will affect the delivery of any remaining soybeans or grain for the export market, said Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition.

It's also creating a logistical headache for fertilizer suppliers and buyers, who typically rely on northern-bound barges to haul their goods to the Midwest ahead of spring planting.

"It's those shipments that are concerning, and will have to be diverted off the river and moved north on rail or by truck," Steenhoek said.

As the river levels rise, the trouble is spreading: As far south as Lock 22 - near Saverton, Missouri - high water could force the locks and dams to be shuttered and stay closed until mid-May, USDA said.



Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.