Corn markets continue to slump

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Weekly agricultural transportation reports from BNSF and Canadian Pacific railways show uneven progress in the Northern Plains.

BNSF reported 9,058 cars late system wide. Nationally, BNSF grain shipments averaged 23.9 miles per hour, up slightly from the previous week. Weekly average dwell time for grain cars that are loaded but not moved was 10.3 hours as compared to 13.7 hours in  previous week.

Canadian Pacific is showing steadily declining numbers of late cars. For the week ending January 3, system wide grain movement was running at 20.6 mph and average dwell time at origin was 27.2 hours, the longest of any product category reported. CP has 1,337 late cars nationwide.

According to Delane Thom, regional manager for Southwest Grain, a CHS Inc. cooperative based in Taylor, ND, a lack of export demand for corn has influenced shippers to cancel some shuttle orders to the Pacific Northwest, meaning BNSF has shifted equipment and personnel into non-shuttle service.

The delays have cost hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales, cargo damage and lost customers.{/reg}

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