Whether or not we want to admit it, the leaves have begun to fall, the heat is subsiding and a new season is upon us. I'm painfully aware that in just a couple of weeks, I'll be bidding my flip flops and paddle board adieu, bringing out the sweaters and having pumpkin-spiced-everything. Even though I don't love the days getting shorter, Fall does have some great things going for it: FOOTBALL (have you seen these new Alabama freshmen??), fire pits, Thanksgiving, AND the Midwest agricultural harvest!
Two weeks ago I traveled to Kansas City to meet up with NYSHEX agri members, commodity traders and growers at the 2018 U.S. Soy Global Trade Exchange & Midwest Specialty Grains Conference. This event always kicks off the harvest season for grain, feed, oil seeds, soybeans and corn. Organized by the US Soybean Export Council and the Midwest Shippers Association, the event attracts hundreds of agricultural product buyers from all over the world. In fact, there are so many international buyers that the conference is translated live into multiple languages. Buyers fly to Kansas City to negotiate large export deals with agri exporters. Tens of thousands of tons of soy, grain, corn and beans will be exported as a result of this event.
All the projections from the USDA and economists throughout the conference signaled that the US would be blessed with a strong harvest this year. However, when it comes to how US export volumes will compare with past years, there is a lot of uncertainty due to pricing and sourcing shifts brought on by trade tariffs.
We can validate this. In an informal survey of our US export agri members, we heard an overwhelming belief that the harvest would be one of the best in recent memory, but where all of the product ends up and at what price is a little murky. It could be as simple as supply/demand. Foreign based buyers are betting that a strong growing season will ultimately lead to lower prices.
One of the highlights of the event for me, was a panel comprised of agricultural exporters speaking to the challenges of US container logistics; specifically those related to inland transport. Interestingly, all three shippers highlighted the same three challenges:
The complexities (and often headaches) of global trade abound, but that doesn’t stop the Midwest agricultural industry. Spending time with many of our agri export members, I heard time and again that they have come to trust NYSHEX to provide them with space and equipment guarantees throughout the year, and especially during harvest season.
The good news is that this year, our six carrier members - Maersk Line, OOCL, HMM, Hapag Lloyd, CMA-CGM and COSCO - will have a wide-range of Westbound Transpacific service offerings on the exchange for the agri OND peak season to move these strong volumes. Agri exporters are rightfully proud of the work that they do to feed the world and NYSHEX loves being a part of that mission!
If you are an agri exporter who hasn't joined NYSHEX, what are you waiting for?
Ask one of your industry peers how they're using the exchange and join today for free.
You can buy freight for the last week of December, today!
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