Corn Premiums Rise as Floods Disrupt Barges; Soybean Bids Steady

Cash premiums for corn shipped in May to terminals near New Orleans rose relative to Chicago futures as floods curb barge traffic on the lower Mississippi River. The soybean basis was unchanged.

The spot-basis bid, or premium, for corn delivered this month was 55 cents to 58 cents a bushel above July futures, up from 54 cents to 57 cents yesterday, U.S. Department of Agriculture data show. The soybean basis was 60 cents to 70 cents a bushel.

“You have virtually no farmer selling and limitations on the mid-river around Memphis, where barges can’t get through,” said Diana Klemme, a director at Grain Service Corp., a consulting company and brokerage in Atlanta. “If someone needs barges, they’ll have to pay up for something south of that area.”

Corn futures for July delivery rose 3.25 cents, or 0.5 percent, to settle at $6.805 a bushel at 1:15 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The most-active contract has surged 80 percent in the past year.

Soybean futures for July delivery gained 11 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $13.4275 a bushel on the CBOT. The price has climbed 39 percent in the past year.

The Coast Guard has restricted barge traffic on the southern Mississippi River because of floods, and rail shipments are facing delays of up to 36 hours as trains reroute around swamped areas, according to a USDA report.

The Mississippi River crested in Memphis, Tennessee, earlier this week at 47.87 feet, just under the record 48.7 feet set in 1937. The flood may set more high-water marks before the flow splits in Louisiana, with 70 percent remaining in the Mississippi’s channel and 30 percent running down the Atchafalaya River.

To contact the reporter on this story: Whitney McFerron in Chicago at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at

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