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Concern Over Damage to Louisiana Export Terminals

09/06/2021

From all accounts, it is evident that Hurricane Ida damaged both infrastructure and installations along the lower Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.  The various terminals operated by the major grain-trading companies on the river are responsible for the export of 60 percent of U.S. corn, wheat, sorghum and soybeans.  Their combined capacity is estimated at 3.6 billion bushels annually with the capability of annualized rates of four billion bushels during the post-harvest export season,

 

The Cargill terminal at Reserve, LA is capable of exporting eight percent of U.S Gulf capacity and will obviously be inoperable for many months extending into the export season.  Damage to other terminals can probably be repaired over the short term.  Current estimates are that exports will not be resumed for three to four weeks due to heavy damage to the power grid.

 

As estimate of the volume shipped from the lower Mississippi terminals is illustrated by activity during the week ending August 19th.  Over the period, 18.3 million bushels of corn, 5.2 million bushels of soybeans and 2.6 million bushels of wheat were exported and 487 barges were unloaded for subsequent transfer to ocean-going vessels.