Barge traffic re-opening by this weekend
Thursday’s CBT meltdown was partially based on traders/investors worrying that the Desoto I-40 Memphis Bridge would stay closed for an extended period. The bridge’s closure has halted barge traffic along the Mississippi River, which a key passageway for US grain to world exporters. It appears that engineers want to be sure that the fractured joint will not cause a collapse of the bridge. Engineering analysis is ongoing on the risks and whether a structural patch can be applied.
Officials hope to have an answer on when river traffic can resume in the next day or so, but US grain firms hold optimism that passage will be granted on the weekend. US corn has record sales that are being exported with 893 Mil Bu of sold but unshipped supply. Gulf exporters can make do with existing and railed supply, but the Mississippi River barge traffic needs to restart to assure normal loadings thereafter with record weekly exports anticipated thru the summer.