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Harvest-Time Basis Prospects Look Promising

July 23, 2009
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor

Charles Johnson, Top Producer National Editor
Basis for grain shipments could be considerably less costly this fall. Kevin McNew, president,, anticipates favorable barge rates thanks to lower fuel prices and decreased river traffic due to the economic recession.
"Barge rates, which have been a culprit of high transportation costs the past couple of years as energy prices have gone up, in the past 6 months have come down substantially. We've seen basis levels return to what we used to think of as normal in the early 2000's period,” McNew says.
In mid-summer, barge operators are attempting to forward contract fall rates at 2008 levels but McNew thinks they will decrease them before long. "I think the basis level should be fairly favorable when we get to harvest,” McNew says.
"The barge market has worked in the farmer's favor the last 6 months and I expect it will continue reasonably good for the next 6 months, as well,' McNew says.
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