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Barges make their way down the Mississippi River, where the water levels have reached historically record lows in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. October 23, 2022. Photo REUTERS/Karen Pulfer Focht

FILE PHOTO: Barges make their way down the Mississippi River, where the water levels have reached historically record lows in Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. October 23, 2022. REUTERS/Karen Pulfer Focht

U.S. Wheat Exports Plunge as Mississippi River Dries Up

Bloomberg
Total Views: 3515
November 7, 2023

(Bloomberg) —

American wheat shipments dropped to the lowest ever, hampered by a shrinking Mississippi River and competition from ample global grain supplies. 

Drought has dried up the Mississippi, where roughly two-thirds of US grain exports historically have been shipped on barges to the US Gulf. Water levels have improved slightly from last month’s record low, but the world’s crop buyers have already been purchasing more supplies from elsewhere. That’s limited demand for US grain and contributed to the country losing its status as the shipper of choice.

Export inspections of American wheat in the week ended Nov. 2 totaled only 71,608 metric tons, with some wheat shipped from Duluth, Minnesota, through the Great Lakes but virtually nothing on the Mississippi River, according to the US Department of Agriculture. That is the smallest total on record in weekly USDA data going back to 1983.

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.

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