The inland Mississippi River system plays a major role in transporting commodities, especially soybeans and corn. When comparing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Iowa River soybean price to the USDA Center Gulf soybean price, the price spread has not reacted to the upper Mississippi River being closed. This price relationship will hold either until the farmers must move their crops out of storage or an end user demands the soybeans. Currently, the farmers and merchandisers are waiting for the river to reopen. Until the river reopens, only the local animal operations and processing facilities have an incentive to buy corn and soybeans. The price spread reflects a farmer’s willingness to keep crops in storage until market conditions improve. A trade deal with China could offset some of the pressure to move soybeans before the next crop is harvested, but a China trade deal is still in question.
Director of Consulting
Doane Advisory Services
Alan Barrett is Doane’s project consultant and accomplished commodity economist with more than 25 years of experience in futures and cash markets with a focus on cotton, commodity projects, non-traditional agricultural products, transportation and supply chain studies. Alan spent six years as a commodity futures broker. His expertise encompasses feasibility studies of oilseed crushing plants (soybean canola, and cottonseed), grain elevators, export elevators, shuttle elevators, grain container operations, flourmills and other processing facilities. Alan also has conducted transportation supply chain studies for grains, oilseeds, fertilizer, coal, natural gas, crude oil, and petroleum products. Alan has considerable experience in non-traditional agricultural products such as coal, coke, natural gas, chemicals, hydraulic fracturing fluid, hydraulic fracturing proppants, glycerin, fertilizer, micronutrients, salt, limestone, cement, iron ore, pig iron, and steel, especially feed ingredients. Mr. Barrett has a BS and MS in Agricultural Economics from the University of Tennessee.