The Army Corps shuttered about a dozen locks on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers late last week and over the weekend due to high water, but most could reopen by the end of April or early May, according to the latest river crest forecasts from the National Weather Service.
Grain export prices climbed as the shipping disruptions, expected to persist to some degree for at least another week, severed the farm-to-port supply pipeline for shippers at the Gulf of Mexico.
Some 60 percent of U.S. grain exports are shipped via the Mississippi River system from production areas in the Midwest to export terminals at the Gulf of Mexico. Various other commodities, including oil, coal and fertilizer are also shipped on the inland waterway system.
Spot corn prices at the Gulf rose to the highest in a month while soybean prices hit a three-month high as exporters scrambled for needed supplies.