Backlog of Barge Traffic on the Mississippi River Moving Again


Barge Backlog

A backlog of barge traffic on the Mississippi can now move forward. This past week, a bridge inspector found a significant fracture which closed the Hernando de Soto Bridge carrying Interstate 40 across the Mississippi River between Memphis// Tennessee and Arkansas. The crack was found in a routine inspection that happens every two years.

  In addition to stopping traffic across the bridge, the closure also applies to barge traffic underneath. That would include every barge loaded with agriculture commodities. But according to the Soy Transportation Coalition, the Coast Guard has determined the crack in the bridge is not dangerous to barges and after two days have reopened maritime traffic.

  The Soy Transportation Coalition adds there are currently 62 vessels with a total of more than 1,000 barges in the queue. It expects 48 hours to get back to normal conditions..

Biden Official Wants Bipartisan Trade

  A top trade official says a multilateral deal must be bipartisan. In a Senate Finance Committee hearing, U-S Trade Representative Katherine Tai says any new multilateral Asia-Pacific deal must be bipartisan. Tai says the Trans-Pacific Partnership the last administration withdrew from lacked bipartisan support so the Biden White House will not automatically try to join.

  She thinks the U-S should engage trade from a position of strength. She says U-S economy needs will be a priority and she hopes to work with partners around the world. “To ensure as we are taking steps we are thinking through the strategy to make sure we are effective and we are pursuing the vision that is well supported here at home on a strong and robust bipartisan basis,” Tai said.

A Look at the Markets

Market analyst Alan Brugler has the end of the week markets:

“Well we did have a big set of USDA reports on Wednesday this was the WASDE group’s first official attempt to estimate the world supply and demand for the next 12 months and then of course the ripple effect of that is the US. The ending stocks for corn were a little higher than the trade thought they would be. They were 1.5 billion bushel and change. Beans still looking at fairly tight new corp carryover, 140 million bushels. But USDA did project Brazil will plant and grow a record 144 million tons of beans next year if they continue to get this kind of price incentive. Cattle markets have been fairly well supported on the cash side 119 trade close to the last two weeks. The board took a nasty spill on thursday basically following the grains lower but the industry had a big meeting to find out why the packer margin is so wide. That is the beef prices are up but the cattle prices aren’t up. Have not seen any market impact on that meeting yet. Pork export sales dropped off quite a bit in the weekly export report. Price rationing appears to be a bit of an issue, but we also saw that the pork export shipments are still running over 41 thousand tons a week.”

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