December 16, 2012
Soyabean export premiums at the US Gulf Coast edged higher on Friday on concerns that shipments to the Gulf will grow increasingly slow due to low water levels on a key stretch of the Mississippi River, traders said. Nearby Gulf soyabean FOB basis offers were up 2 cents at 135 cents a bushel over the Chicago Board of Trade January contract. Offers for January were up 3 cents at 135 cents over the futures contract.
US Senator Dick Durbin on Monday will hold a meeting with the US Army Corps of Engineers to discuss the Corps’ plan “to keep the Mississippi open for business,” according to a notice from Durbin’s office. Stakeholders from industries affected by low water levels, including agriculture, will also participate. Declining water levels along the river just south of St. Louis, Missouri, to Cairo, Illinois, has forced barge tows to lighten loads or risk groundings.
The low-water crisis will boost industry arguments for long-delayed government improvement projects along US rivers, though looming federal budget battles remain a high hurdle. Export demand for soyabeans, particularly from top-importer China, remains strong, traders said.