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Market Matters Blog 02/23 11:05

  • 23 Feb, 2018
  • 11:08:00

Market Matters Blog 02/23 11:05 DDG Prices Steady DDG Prices Remain Firm on Average Positive Train Control May Not Be Fully Operational by Dec. 31 Deadline DDG Prices Steady to Weaker S.O.S: Locks and Dams on U.S. Rivers Falling Apart DDG Prices Continue to Rise Electronic Logging Device Fight Not Over; More Exemptions Sought Icing Continues to Besiege U.S. River System DDG Prices Remain Strong DDG Prices Climb Higher ****************************************************************************** DDG Prices Steady OMAHA (DTN) -- The average distillers dried grain (DDG) spot price from the 39 locations where DTN collected bids was $148 for the week ended Feb. 22, unchanged on average versus a week ago. Based on the average of bids collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative to corn for the week ended Feb. 22 was at 112.99%, and the value of DDG relative to soybean meal was at 39.26%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $5.48, compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $7.93. Merchandisers noted that domestic prices were mixed, but overall remain firm, especially given the high prices seen for soymeal. On a per unit of protein value, DDG is still cheaper than soymeal. As the weather warms up, we may see a seasonal slowdown in demand, but for now, the market remains steady. The Asian market was quiet last week during the Chinese New Year and Tet holiday in Vietnam, but buyers are slowly returning. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) said in its weekly price update that merchandisers reported increased interest this week from Asian markets, including Indonesia and Vietnam. Prices for 40-foot containers to Indonesia (Jakarta) and Vietnam (HCMC) are up modestly this week from last, and on average, DDGS destined for Southeast Asia increased $2 per metric ton (mt) this week. Barge CIF NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) prices are $8/mt higher this week, while FOB (free on board -- the buyer pays for transportation of the goods) Gulf DDGS values are also up $7/mt. High water has resulted in reduced tow sizes north- and south-bound on the Lower Mississippi River to the Gulf, with expectations this will continue for the foreseeable future. Baton Rouge is not expected to crest until the middle of March around 40 feet. New Orleans is not expected to crest until the second half of March at around 15 feet. The conditions on the Ohio and Illinois rivers are horrible, as flooding has shut down all barge movements. The American Commercial Barge Line noted in its Thursday update that Dresden Lock (IR 271), Marseilles Lock (IR 245), and Starved Rock Lock (IR 231) are all currently closed and are not expected to resume operations through this area until at least March 2. In response, the CBOT declared force majeure due to load-out impossibility at a majority of corn regular shipping stations on the Illinois River because of high water levels and/or flooding. CURRENT PRIOR WEEK CHANGE COMPANY STATE 2/22/2018 2/14/2018 Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300) Missouri Dry $170 $170 $0 Modified $85 $85 $0 CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066) Illinois Dry $150 $150 $0 Indiana Dry $155 $150 $5 Iowa Dry $140 $140 $0 Michigan Dry $160 $160 $0 Minnesota Dry $140 $135 $5 North Dakota Dry $150 $148 $2 New York Dry $165 $165 $0 South Dakota Dry $140 $145 -$5 MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253) Kansas Dry $155 $155 $0 POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799) Indiana Dry $165 $165 $0 Iowa Dry $142 $138 $4 Michigan Dry $170 $170 $0 Minnesota Dry $140 $138 $2 Missouri Dry $160 $160 $0 Ohio Dry $165 $165 $0 South Dakota Dry $140 $140 $0 ` ` United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521) Kansas Dry $150 $150 $0 Wet $50 $50 $0 Illinois Dry $155 $155 $0 Nebraska Dry $150 $150 $0 Wet $50 $50 $0 U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640) Illinois Dry $150 $150 $0 Indiana Dry $145 $145 $0 Iowa Dry $140 $140 $0 Michigan Dry $150 $150 $0 Minnesota Dry $135 $135 $0 Nebraska Dry $145 $145 $0 New York Dry $165 $165 $0 North Dakota Dry $150 $150 $0 Ohio Dry $150 $150 $0 South Dakota Dry $140 $140 $0 Wisconsin Dry $140 $140 $0 Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas (210-345-3362) (210-345-3362) Indiana Dry $145 $145 $0 Iowa Dry $135 $135 $0 Minnesota Dry $135 $135 $0 Nebraska Dry $150 $150 $0 Ohio Dry $145 $145 $0 South Dakota Dry $138 $138 $0 California $215 $207 $8 Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074) California Dry $218 $210 $8 *Prices listed per ton. Weekly Average $148 $148 $0 The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and California are not included in the averages. VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL Settlement Price: Quote Date Bushel Short Ton Corn 2/22/2018 $3.6675 $130.98 Soybean Meal 2/22/2018 $376.90 DDG Weekly Average Spot Price $148.00 DDG Value Relative to: 2/22 2/15 Corn 112.99% 112.68% Soybean Meal 39.26% 39.60% Cost Per Unit of Protein: DDG $5.48 $5.48 Soybean Meal $7.93 $7.87 Notes: Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price represents the average spot price from Midwest companies collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 27. Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn ****************************************************************************** DDG Prices Remain Firm on Average OMAHA (DTN) -- The average distillers dried grain (DDG) spot price from the 39 locations where DTN collected bids was $148 for the week ended Feb. 15, $1 stronger on average than a week ago. Based on the average of bids collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative to corn for the week ended Feb. 15 was at 112.68%, and the value of DDG relative to soybean meal was at 39.60%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $5.48, compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $7.87. The surge in soymeal prices the past week has kept DDG as a good value in rations. Domestic prices were mixed, but a few states where supplies are tight saw an increase in values. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) report Wednesday showed that ethanol production for the week ending Feb. 9 was the lowest production number since the start of the year, adding to the tight supply of DDG for some plants. Merchandisers noted that prices at the Texas border remain strong, indicating continued demand form Mexico. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) said in its weekly price update that barge CIF NOLA prices are $8/metric ton (MT) higher this week while FOB Gulf DDGs values are up $9/MT. "Merchandisers are reporting Asian buyers are showing only light interest at current prices, waiting for prices to moderate somewhat. However, prices for 40-foot containers to Southeast Asia increased $6/MT this week with prices to Shanghai leading the way (up $9/MT). On average, DDGS destined for Southeast Asia increased $4/MT this week." CURRENT CURRENT CHANGE COMPANY STATE 2/14/2018 2/8/2018 Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300) Missouri Dry $170 $170 $0 Modified $85 $85 $0 CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066) Illinois Dry $150 $150 $0 Indiana Dry $150 $150 $0 Iowa Dry $140 $145 -$5 Michigan Dry $160 $160 $0 Minnesota Dry $135 $135 $0 North Dakota Dry $148 $148 $0 New York Dry $165 $165 $0 South Dakota Dry $145 $145 $0 MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253) Kansas Dry $155 $155 $0 POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799) Indiana Dry $165 $160 $5 Iowa Dry $138 $138 $0 Michigan Dry $170 $165 $5 Minnesota Dry $138 $138 $0 Missouri Dry $160 $160 $0 Ohio Dry $165 $160 $5 South Dakota Dry $140 $140 $0 ` ` United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521) Kansas Dry $150 $150 $0 Wet $50 $50 $0 Illinois Dry $155 $155 $0 Nebraska Dry $150 $150 $0 Wet $50 $50 $0 U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640) Illinois Dry $150 $145 $5 Indiana Dry $145 $145 $0 Iowa Dry $140 $140 $0 Michigan Dry $150 $140 $10 Minnesota Dry $135 $135 $0 Nebraska Dry $145 $150 -$5 New York Dry $165 $165 $0 North Dakota Dry $150 $150 $0 Ohio Dry $150 $150 $0 South Dakota Dry $140 $140 $0 Wisconsin Dry $140 $140 $0 Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas (210-345-3362) (210-345-3362) Indiana Dry $145 $145 $0 Iowa Dry $135 $135 $0 Minnesota Dry $135 $135 $0 Nebraska Dry $150 $150 $0 Ohio Dry $145 $145 $0 South Dakota Dry $138 $128 $10 California $207 $197 $10 Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074) California Dry $210 $210 $0 *Prices listed per ton. Weekly Average $148 $147 $1 The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and California are not included in the averages. VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL Settlement Price: Quote Date Bushel Short Ton Corn 2/15/2018 $3.6775 $131.34 Soybean Meal 2/15/2018 $373.70 DDG Weekly Average Spot Price $148.00 DDG Value Relative to: 2/15 2/8 Corn 112.68% 112.53% Soybean Meal 39.60% 43.02% Cost Per Unit of Protein: DDG $5.48 $5.44 Soybean Meal $7.87 $7.19 Notes: Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price represents the average spot price from Midwest companies collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 27. Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn ****************************************************************************** Positive Train Control May Not Be Fully Operational by Dec. 31 Deadline The nation's railroads have a little over 10 months left to implement new positive train control systems meant to improve safety and security. While some railroads report that they expect to meet the Dec. 31 deadline to implement the new systems, others say they have made little progress. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released a letter on Jan. 2, 2018, from Secretary Elaine L. Chao to the entire nation's Class I railroads, intercity passenger railroads and state and local transit authorities stressing the urgency and importance of safely implementing positive train control (PTC) systems in the upcoming year to meet the Dec. 31, 2018, deadline, as mandated by Congress. "Advancing the implementation of Positive Train Control is among th` most important rail safety initiatives on the Department's agenda," said Secretary Chao. "The FRA leadership has been directed to work with your organization's leadership to help create an increased level of urgency to underscore the imperative of meeting existing expectations for rolling out this critical rail-safety technology." Here is a link to a copy of her letter and more background on PTC: https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/ptc-letters-secretary-chao The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 originally mandated that PTC systems be implemented across a significant portion of the nation's rail industry by Dec. 31, 2015. PTC is an integrated command, control, communications and information systems for controlling train movements with safety, security, precision and efficiency. However, following warnings by several railroad companies that they would not be able to meet that deadline, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Sept. 30, 2015, introduced bipartisan legislation to extend the Dec. 31, 2015, deadline for all railroads operating in the United States to be compliant with PTC technology. On Oct. 27 and 28, 2015, Congress passed the bipartisan Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-73). Section 1302 was the Positive Train Control Enforcement and Implementation Act of 2015, which extended the deadline to Dec. 31, 2018, with the option of up to 24 months of "additional time." Additional time is subject to Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) review and approval if railroads meet certain implementation milestones. In a Feb. 8, 2018, article, the Omaha World-Herald said officials for the trade associations representing the seven major freight railroads in the U.S. and the nation's commuter railroads now say they view Dec. 31 "as the date by which railroads must meet several PTC milestones to qualify for an extension, rather than the ultimate deadline." "The Transportation Department has little choice but to grant the extensions as long as railroads meet the milestones," Kathryn Kirmayer, the Association of American Railroads' general counsel, told the World-Herald. "One milestone is that freight railroads have PTC in operation on half their route miles where it's required." Members of Congress expressed frustration with railroads backing off this year's deadline, the World-Herald reported. Congress never intended the extensions be used "to allow railroads that have dragged their feet to just blow off the mandate," said Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, the House Transportation Committee's senior Democrat, according to the World-Herald. Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the Senate Commerce Committee's senior Democrat, said, "Every railroad should be taking the recent deadly train accidents seriously and doing everything they can to meet the 2018 deadline." The Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials announced on their website that they will meet on Thursday, Feb. 15, to receive testimony on the status of implementing PTC on the freight and passenger rail network by the Dec. 31 deadline. Here is a link to the committee's announcement: https://www.dtn.com/ag/assets/2018-02-15_-_rail_ssm.pdf Reports filed with the FRA show some railroads are getting close to being mostly compliant with PTC deadline, while others show little progress. Here is a link to the 2017 third-quarter report of PTC implementation and status for each railroad: https://www.fra.dot.gov/app/ptc/ UNION PACIFIC ON TRACK TO INSTALLING PTC BY DECEMBER 2018 Union Pacific (UP) continues to make strides implementing positive train control (PTC). The company noted in a press release on Feb. 7 that it "anticipates it will make all required deadlines for installing PTC on its network." However, as allowed by federal law, Union Pacific also noted "it will continue to test and refine the immature technologies comprising the system in 2019-20." Union Pacific's PTC footprint is the largest of all North American railroads, encompassing more than 17,000 route miles, roughly 55% more miles than the next largest railroad. Union Pacific said in the press release that it is in regular contact with the FRA officials regarding its PTC progress. Installing and implementing PTC across the U.S. rail network (passenger and freight) is costly and complex, noted the UP. "One of the most complex parts of implementing PTC is ensuring system interoperability among all U.S. rail lines and locomotives. Given the various readiness levels of North American freight and passenger railroads, it will be important that all railroads continue working together to ensure smooth and safe transitions as PTC is implemented." Here is a link to the UP press release and the progress it has made towards implementing PTC: https://www.up.com/media/releases/180207-ptc-progress.htm Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com Follow Mary Kennedy on Twitter @MaryCKenn ****************************************************************************** DDG Prices Steady to Weaker OMAHA (DTN) -- The average distillers dried grain (DDG) spot price from the 39 locations DTN collected bids from was $147 for the week ended Feb. 8, 1 cent weaker on average than a week ago. Based on the average of bids collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative to corn for the week ended Feb. 8 was at 112.53%, and the value of DDG relative to soybean meal was at 43.02%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $5.44, compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $7.19. DDG prices are still a good buy compared to soybean meal after meal futures' recent rally. Domestic prices were mixed as the tight supplies we have witnessed since the start of the year have loosened some, according to merchandisers. Winter storms have slowed some movement, but overall, prices remain steady for the most part. However, as weather warms, that may change as demand could slow. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) noted in its weekly price update that FOB NOLA DDGS are slightly lower this week at $203/mt, following CIF NOLA prices which dropped to $191/mt. Merchandisers are reporting that, since CIF NOLA values dropped last week, prices have softened for product destined for Asia. However, the lower prices have increased buying activity and exporters are reporting large volumes sold/exported. The U.S. Census Bureau said Tuesday that U.S. exports of distillers grains totaled 968,700 metric tons in December, up 15% from a year ago. Mexico was the top export destination again in December, accounting for 21% of the total and followed by South Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand. For all of 2017, exports of U.S. distillers grains were down 2% from a year ago, their second annual decline. DTN Market Analyst Todd Hultman noted, "It was interesting that China came in eleventh in December with their largest shipment of distillers grains since May." CURRENT CURRENT CHANGE COMPANY STATE 2/8/2018 2/1/2018 Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300) Missouri Dry $170 $170 $0 Modified $85 $85 $0 CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066) Illinois Dry $150 $160 -$10 Indiana Dry $150 $150 $0 Iowa Dry $145 $140 $5 Michigan Dry $160 $160 $0 Minnesota Dry $135 $140 -$5 North Dakota Dry $148 $150 -$2 New York Dry $165 $170 -$5 South Dakota Dry $145 $145 $0 MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253) Kansas Dry $155 $155 $0 POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799) Indiana Dry $160 $158 $2 Iowa Dry $138 $138 $0 Michigan Dry $165 $156 $9 Minnesota Dry $138 $138 $0 Missouri Dry $160 $158 $2 Ohio Dry $160 $156 $4 South Dakota Dry $140 $143 -$3 ` ` United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521) Kansas Dry $150 $150 $0 Wet $50 $60 -$10 Illinois Dry $155 $155 $0 Nebraska Dry $150 $150 $0 Wet $50 $60 -$10 U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640) Illinois Dry $145 $150 -$5 Indiana Dry $145 $145 $0 Iowa Dry $140 $145 -$5 Michigan Dry $140 $140 $0 Minnesota Dry $135 $140 -$5 Nebraska Dry $150 $155 -$5 New York Dry $165 $165 $0 North Dakota Dry $150 $155 -$5 Ohio Dry $150 $150 $0 South Dakota Dry $140 $140 $0 Wisconsin Dry $140 $140 $0 Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas (210-345-3362) Indiana Dry $145 $145 $0 Iowa Dry $135 $135 $0 Minnesota Dry $135 $135 $0 Nebraska Dry $150 $150 $0 Ohio Dry $145 $145 $0 South Dakota Dry $128 $128 $0 California $197 $208 -$11 Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074) California Dry $210 $212 -$2 *Prices listed per ton. Weekly Average $147 $148 -$1 The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and California are not included in the averages. VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL Settlement Price: Quote Date Bushel Short Ton Corn 2/8/2018 $3.6575 $130.63 Soybean Meal 2/8/2018 $341.70 DDG Weekly Average Spot Price $147.00 DDG Value Relative to: 2/8 2/1 Corn 112.53% 115.32% Soybean Meal 43.02% 44.61% Cost Per Unit of Protein: DDG $5.44 $5.52 Soybean Meal $7.19 $7.03 Notes: Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price represents the average spot price from Midwest companies collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 27. Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn ****************************************************************************** S.O.S: Locks and Dams on U.S. Rivers Falling Apart According to a recent press release from the Soy Transportation Coalition (STC), they noted there is "widespread agreement that it is not a matter of if there will be a failure at one or more of our key lock and dam sites, it is a matter of when." "A failure of significant duration -- particularly during and subsequent to harvest -- would severely impact the competitiveness of the soybean and grain industries and diminish the profitability of the individual farmer. This increasingly likely scenario must be avoided. As a result, an enhanced focus on operations and maintenance to increase the reliability of resiliency of the nation's locks and dams should be adopted." "Maintenance and rehabilitation of locks and dams to significantly reduce the potential for unexpected, widespread and prolonged failure," was recommended by the STC. "Priority should be devoted to ensuring the reliability of locks and dams along the nation's inland waterways. Available funding for new construction of locks and dams should be directed first to locks and dams 20 to 25 on the Mississippi River," said the STC. There are currently 28 locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River system. This series of locks and dams is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and maintains a 9-foot channel on the Mississippi from St. Paul, Minnesota, to St. Louis, Missouri. As the aging locks and dams continue to deteriorate, especially when damaged by floods, the Corps has to make costly repairs, and in some cases, can only make a temporary fix. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has said in the past that it is "unable to adequately fund maintenance activities to ensure the navigation system operates at an acceptable level of performance." The most notable disruption last fall was the multiple closures between September and October at locks and dams 52 and 53 on the Ohio River. These disruptions occurred at the worst time for farmers who were hauling their fall harvest to the river for shipment to the Gulf. Even though the river finally reopened there on Oct. 19, the backlog of tows remained an issue well into November, slowing traffic anxious to get the Gulf for export. Problems continued into January 2018, stalling barges at times from getting up and down river. In May of 2017, USACE, Rock Island District reported that there were structural concerns on the downstream guidewall at locks and dams 52 and 53 on the Ohio River and Dam 15 in Rock Island, Illinois. Aaron Dunlop, Operations Project Manager for the Rock Island District's Mississippi River Project, said in a press release that four monoliths (a large single upright block of stone) making up a portion of the guidewall, had to be demolished as the failing concrete was creating risk to the navigation system. "The lower 120 feet of the guidewall is structurally failing, which could result in it falling into the navigation channel," Dunlop said. "If it were to fall into the channel, this would block navigation for nearly a month as crews would need to respond to remove the broken concrete blocking access to the lock chamber." The section of guidewall that was demolished was original to the project. Locks and Dam 15 was the first lock completed on the Upper Mississippi River as part of the 9-foot navigation system. Construction at Lock and Dam 15 finished in 1934, and the intended design life of the lock was about 50 years, according to the USACE. According to Mike Cox, chief of the Rock Island District's Operations Division, locks such as those at Lock and Dam 15 have outlived their design life due in most part to adaptive maintenance and periodic major rehabilitation. "The concrete issue on the lock's lower guidewall is indicative of infrastructure that is well past its prime," said Cox. Guidewalls are integral to each of the Mississippi River Locks and Dams 2 through 10, says the USACE. Guidewalls are long extensions of the lock walls, in either the upstream or downstream direction, that are parallel to the lock wall. These walls serve primarily to guide the long tows into the lock and to provide mooring facilities for tows too long to be accommodated in a single lockage. "Almost all of the locks and dams on the Upper Mississippi River System, including the Illinois Waterway, are experiencing varying levels of problems due do the age of the infrastructure," Cox said. The teams do a great job of ensuring that critical maintenance is performed, which they have to this point, preventing a catastrophic failure of the system." The locks and dams are critical to the nation's economy as they provide the most efficient method to transport goods and commodities." President Trump noted in his State of the Union address that he will approve funding of $1.5 trillion for the rebuilding of bridges, highways, locks and dams, airports and other projects. Yet, as Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the STC told DTN, "We are still anxious to see greater specificity -- particularly regarding funding -- from the White House and Congress on an infrastructure strategy. Funding remains the main obstacle to seeing an infrastructure package transition from an intention to an outcome. As the weeks progress, we anticipate a more specific set of recommendations from the White House and Congress. We look forward to being engaged in this process." A Jan. 3, 2018, Washington Post article quoted President Trump: "Infrastructure is by far the easiest," the president said Dec. 22, during the bill signing for the tax overhaul. "People want it -- Republicans and Democrats. We're going to have tremendous Democrat support on infrastructure as you know. I could've started with infrastructure -- I actually wanted to save the easy one for the one down the road. So we'll be having that done pretty quickly." Well then, if it is such an easy fix, the government best hurry up and get something done. "Most of our system represents a single point of failure, because there is only one lock chamber at most sites. So, if one lock experiences a failure, the whole navigation system would likely shut down, which would come with a high cost," said Cox. In other words, the time bomb continues to tick on our aging locks and dams. Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com Follow Mary Kennedy on Twitter @MaryCKenn ****************************************************************************** DDG Prices Continue to Rise OMAHA (DTN) -- The DTN average distillers dried grain (DDG) spot price from the 33 locations DTN collected bids from (missing one company this week) was $149 for the week ended Feb. 1, 6 cents higher on average than two weeks ago. Based on the average of bids collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative to corn for the week ended Feb. 1 was at 115.32%, and the value of DDG relative to soybean meal was at 44.61%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $5.52, compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $7.03. DDG prices continue to be well below soymeal prices, fueling demand from feeders. A merchandiser told DTN that with ethanol production slightly lower, DDG supplies may get tighter at plants, keeping prices firm. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted a 3.4% inventory drop to 23.0 million barrels during the week ended Jan. 26, the first draw after four straight weekly stock builds. Plant production rate fell 2.1% to 1.04 million barrels per day (bpd) while down 2.0% year-over-year. While some merchandisers mentioned a slight decline in inclusion rates, they still remain strong as DDG remains competitively priced among the products feeders can choose from for protein intake. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) noted in its weekly price update that barge CIF NOLA and FOB NOLA DDGS values were lower this week as river logistics improve. American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) reported in their daily river update that Mel Price Lock (UM 201) main chamber will remain closed until March 8, but the auxiliary chamber will be available. "Beginning to see more activity to and from the Illinois River," noted ACBL. "The volume is starting to level out and delay at Mel Price is expected to be more manageable moving forward. Friday morning there were six boats in queue; total delay is around 6 to 9 hours." USGC also noted that DDGS prices were lower for rail-delivered product to the PNW. However, on the international front, prices for 40-foot containers to Southeast Asia increased $7/metric tons on average as demand remains robust, especially in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Japan. Prices for product destined for Japan increased $20/MT this week while product for Indonesia and Malaysia rose $11/MT. CURRENT CURRENT CHANGE COMPANY STATE 2/01/2018 1/25/2018 Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300) Missouri Dry $170 $160 $10 Modified $85 $80 $5 CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066) Illinois Dry $160 $150 $10 Indiana Dry $150 $150 $0 Iowa Dry $140 $135 $5 Michigan Dry $160 $155 $5 Minnesota Dry $140 $140 $0 North Dakota Dry $150 $150 $0 New York Dry $170 $170 $0 South Dakota Dry $145 $140 $5 MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253) Kansas Dry $155 $150 $5 POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799) Indiana Dry $158 $150 $8 Iowa Dry $138 $130 $8 Michigan Dry $156 $148 $8 Minnesota Dry $138 $130 $8 Missouri Dry $158 $150 $8 Ohio Dry $156 $148 $8 South Dakota Dry $143 $135 $8 ` ` United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521) Kansas Dry $150 $150 $0 Wet $60 $60 $0 Illinois Dry $155 $155 $0 Nebraska Dry $150 $150 $0 Wet $60 $60 $0 U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640) Illinois Dry $150 $150 $0 Indiana Dry $145 $140 $5 Iowa Dry $145 $135 $10 Michigan Dry $140 $140 $0 Minnesota Dry $140 $130 $10 Nebraska Dry $155 $150 $5 New York Dry $165 $155 $10 North Dakota Dry $155 $145 $10 Ohio Dry $150 $145 $5 South Dakota Dry $140 $135 $5 Wisconsin Dry $140 $140 $0 Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio Texas Indiana Dry $0 $0 $0 Iowa Dry $0 $0 $0 Minnesota Dry $0 $0 $0 Nebraska Dry $0 $0 $0 Ohio Dry $0 $0 $0 South Dakota Dry $0 $0 $0 California $0 $0 $0 Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074) California Dry $212 $212 $0 *Prices listed per ton. Weekly Average $149 $143 $6 The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and California are not included in the averages. VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL Settlement Price: Quote Date Bushel Short Ton Corn 2/1/2018 $3.6175 $129.20 Soybean Meal 2/1/2018 $334.00 DDG Weekly Average Spot Price $149.00 DDG Value Relative to: 2/1 1/18 Corn 115.32% 113.91% Soybean Meal 44.61% 43.54% Cost Per Unit of Protein: DDG $5.52 $5.30 Soybean Meal $7.03 $6.91 Notes: Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price represents the average spot price from Midwest companies collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 27. Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com Follow her on Twitter @MaryCKenn ****************************************************************************** Electronic Logging Device Fight Not Over; More Exemptions Sought Earlier this month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association Inc. (OOIDA) has requested an exemption from the electronic logging device (ELD) requirements for motor carriers considered to be a small transportation trucking business. The OODIA has long contended that smaller, safer carriers should be completely exempt from what the organization contends is a "costly, unproven" regulation. According to Federal Register documents, OOIDA requested the exemption to allow small trucking businesses that do not have a carrier safety rating of "unsatisfactory" and can document a proven history of safety performance with "no attributable at-fault crashes" to complete paper records of duty status (RODS) instead of using an ELD device. OOIDA believes that the exemption would not have any adverse impacts on operational safety as motor carriers and drivers would remain subject to the hours-of-service (HOS) regulations as well as the requirements to maintain paper RODS. The request by OOIDA was on top of a Nov. 20, 2017, announcement by the FMCSA placing a 90-day exemption for truckers hauling agriculture loads and livestock to comply with the ELD mandate that went in to effect Dec. 18, 2017. Click here to read the FMCSA waiver: https://goo.gl/CCg34o Mike Steenhoek, executive director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, told DTN after that announcement that, "Many agricultural haulers are concerned due to the cost of purchasing the equipment. Many who transport agricultural products are small trucking firms or owner-operators who are less able to absorb such an expense in such a tight-margin industry." "Many are arguing that those small businesses who have a track record of safety, who maintain a paper record of their operations should not have to incur such a cost," Steenhoek said. "There is a concern that this mandate could drive certain small trucking firms out of business, which will reduce the capacity and amount of competition within agricultural shipping." Prior to the Nov. 20 announcement, Texas Congressman Brian Babin introduced HR 3282, "The Electronic Logging Device Extension Act of 2017." The bill sought to amend the current ELD implementation date by two years until December 2019, allowing more time to further evaluate the readiness of the mandate. According to OOIDA, a separate amendment that would have cut off funding to implement, administer or enforce the ELD mandate until Sept. 30, 2018, was defeated in the U.S. House of Representatives. However, HR 3282 is still active legislation and continues to gather support and now has a total of 55 Congressional cosponsors. Click here to read about HR 3282: https://goo.gl/SdLTXb According to a recent Transport Topics article, some trucking companies have said they are dealing with defective devices and software integration issues, "while some drivers and safety enforcement personnel are still learning how to handle new paperless systems. Plus, a contingent of truck operators appear to be holding out until the end of a soft enforcement period to decide whether to quit the business or to comply with the ELD rule." The "soft enforcement" means that while the mandate went into effect on Dec. 18, 2017, it will not be strictly enforced until April 1, 2018. To say that this new rule continues to be contentious would be an understatement. Here is a link to the FMCSA FAQ's about the ELD mandate: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/faqs If you have any questions, be sure to call or contact the FMSCA. FMCSA has requested public comment on OOIDA's Jan. 2 application for exemption with a deadline of Feb. 1. To date, there have been 1,482 comments registered -- some in favor, others opposed. The link to view and/or add comments can be accessed here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FMCSA-2017-0356-0002 Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com Follow Mary Kennedy on Twitter @MaryCKenn ****************************************************************************** Icing Continues to Besiege U.S. River System Severe icing has wreaked havoc on the U.S River system for weeks now and there is hope that forecasts for a warm-up the next few days may help alleviate some of that. Still, even if there is a slight meltdown, that ice needs to work its way down river and through locks, which could cause ice jams along their path. Since my story on January 8 about the extreme cold weather causing icing throughout the U.S. river system, conditions have worsened; particularly on the Upper Ohio River. Over the weekend of Jan. 12, ice and high water caused a 27-barge breakaway at the Jack's Run fleeting area at MM 4 on the Ohio River near Pittsburgh, while another 34 barges were carried away from a fleeting area at MM 94 near Moundsville, West Virginia, according to the U.S Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). As of Jan. 19, 25 of the 27 barges at MM 4 have been accounted for and all 34 barges at MM 94 have been accounted for. At the USACE Pittsburg District, John Dilla, Chief at Locks and Dams Branch, provided an update Friday morning Jan. 19, via their Facebook page, on the unified effort to recover breakaway barges lodged at Emsworth Lock and Dam on the Ohio River near Pittsburgh. Dilla noted that the USACE, U.S Coast Guard (USCG) and navigation industry partners are working together and making progress on restoring navigation under challenging conditions. In the video update, he pointed out how they were digging ice out of the lock and nearby area on the river in order to restore navigation to the Region, a high priority for this group. The entire video can be seen via this link: https://goo.gl/vbjJZR Late Friday evening, Jan. 19, the USCG in a press release noted that "Industry partners successfully conducted a barge test run at MM 95.7, and a queue is now forming with transit granted on a case-by-case basis." However, salvage operations are still pending as there are two unaccounted-for barges reported to be located above the dam. The press release noted that the USACE is continuing ice-breaking and removal operations at Emsworth Lock and Dam. "The main chamber is now open and ice is beginning to flow through. However, there is still heavy ice stretching nearly 1 mile above the lock, which continues to impact operations. There are no reports of significant damage to Emsworth Lock and Dam and no environmental concerns from pollution. USCG reported two safety zones, full waterway closures, which have been established from MM 95 to MM 105 and MM 2 to MM 20 on the Ohio River due to risk of channel obstructions. American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) in their daily river condition update Jan. 19 noted that on the ice-ravaged Illinois River, there is limited movement with significant tow size reduction. The maximum tow size is nine barges below Hennepin and four barges above. A major trouble spot has been Marseilles Lock, from miles 240 to 247 due to significant ice buildup in this area, making it difficult to transit. ACBL noted that based on the current forecast, they do not anticipate returning to normal tow size for another one to two weeks. According to the USDA weekly Grain Transportation Report, weekly grain tonnages along the inland waterway system have been significantly reduced since late December due to icing. For the first two weeks of January, grain barge tonnages were 496,000 tons; 63% lower than the same period last year. Ice accumulation on the Illinois River has reduced the number of up-bound empty barges to 10 for the week of Jan. 13. During the same period last year, 180 up-bound empty barges were shipped on the Illinois River. A number of barge lines have continued to suspend operations on the Illinois River and portions of the Ohio River until conditions improve. Low water and ice are slowing traffic on the Mississippi River in the St. Louis, Missouri, area, especially where heavy ice buildup around locks are not allowing lock gates to fully open. Mike Steenhoek, Executive Director of the Soy Transportation Coalition, told DTN via email that "Ice accumulation can present a number of adverse impacts on navigation. The entire channel can be closed entirely. The channel width can be reduced, and therefore, the size of barge flotillas will need to be reduced. There are numerous reports of normal 15-barge flotillas being reduced to six-to-nine-barge flotillas. A 15-barge flotilla can transport up to 855,000 bushels of soybeans (57,000 bushels per barge). A six-barge flotilla will only be able to transport 342,000 bushels of soybeans. A nine-barge flotilla will transport 513,000 bushels of soybeans. Ice accumulation can also impede the ability of lock gates from opening and closing." Whenever barge transportation faces slowdowns, due to weather or constant repairs, the results are always passed onto farmers in the form of higher barge freight costs, and at times, their inability to haul grain to a river terminal. "If there is a supply chain disruption and logjam along the river, soybean and grain shippers that utilize the inland waterway system are less able to move product via their back door," said Steenhoek. "If a soybean and grain shipper cannot move product via their back door, they are less able to accept product via their front door. As a result, soybean and grain shippers will drop the price offered (i.e. basis will be widened/more negative) to farmers. Therefore, farmer profitability will be impacted not because they did anything wrong, but simply because the supply chain is not operating as expected." "Given that 80% of soybean exports depart from the U.S. between September and February, this is a critical period for our supply chain to be operating as normal. Any impediment, like the ice accumulations impacting areas of the inland waterway system that normally are operating at this time of the year, have a negative impact," concluded Steenhoek. Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com Follow Mary Kennedy on Twitter @MaryCKenn ****************************************************************************** DDG Prices Remain Strong OMAHA (DTN) -- The DTN average distillers dried grain (DDG) spot price from the 39 locations DTN collects bids from was $143 for the week ended Jan. 18, 1 cent higher than the prior week. Based on the average of bids collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative to corn for the week ended Jan. 18 was at 113.91%, and the value of DDG relative to soybean meal was at 43.54%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $5.30, compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $6.91, 39 cents higher versus last week (see chart below) as soymeal prices saw strong gains all week. The higher soybean meal price is causing more DDG demand for livestock feed rations, further adding support to prices. A merchandiser out west told DTN that slow loadings of corn from the Midwest and strong values in the Midwest for modified DDG is keeping supplies out to the West Coast rather tight. Overall, supplies have been tight due to cold weather and plant slowdowns. That may change going forward as the recent EIA report showing ethanol plant output topped 1.0 million barrels per day (bpd) again after briefly dipping below the mark the week prior and for the first time since early October. For the week ending Jan. 12, EIA reported plant output up 65,000 bpd to 1.061 million bpd last week. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) noted in its weekly price update that trade volume has been reported as "light" with sellers defending asking prices and buyers somewhat unwilling to chase prices higher. Prices for 40-foot containers to Southeast Asia are higher again this week, gaining $5 per metric ton (mt) on average. February shipments to Myanmar increased the most of any Asian destination this week, gaining $7/mt, while shipments to Indonesia and China increased $6/mt each, according to USGC. CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NOLA (News Orleans, Louisiana) prices were stronger from one week ago, but January prices this week have backed off a little. This could partially be due to tight supplies as well as the U.S. river system still under siege from ice. The Upper Ohio River was closed earlier in the week due to barge breakaways over the weekend in that area caused by heavy ice movement. There is still limited movement due to ice above the Hannibal Lock, but in the Lower Ohio River, Lock 52 and 53 are now open for traffic. The Illinois River is also plagued with floating ice, which is causing "significant tow size reduction" according to American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL). Also, conditions have deteriorated above Hennepin, (MM207) due to low temperatures and ice gorging. There is hope a warming trend over the weekend will bring some relief. ACBL also noted that there is a reduction in tow size in the Lower Mississippi River at MM483-487 due to low water and "lack of a defined channel." CURRENT CURRENT CHANGE COMPANY STATE 1/18/2018 1/11/2018 Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300) Missouri Dry $160 $160 $0 Modified $80 $80 $0 CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066) Illinois Dry $150 $144 $6 Indiana Dry $150 $145 $5 Iowa Dry $135 $133 $2 Michigan Dry $155 $150 $5 Minnesota Dry $140 $135 $5 North Dakota Dry $150 $145 $5 New York Dry $170 $160 $10 South Dakota Dry $140 $140 $0 MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253) Kansas Dry $150 $150 $0 POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799) Indiana Dry $150 $150 $0 Iowa Dry $130 $130 $0 Michigan Dry $148 $148 $0 Minnesota Dry $130 $130 $0 Missouri Dry $150 $150 $0 Ohio Dry $148 $148 $0 South Dakota Dry $135 $135 $0 ` ` United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521) Kansas Dry $150 $145 $5 Wet $60 $60 $0 Illinois Dry $155 $150 $5 Nebraska Dry $150 $145 $5 Wet $60 $60 $0 U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640) Illinois Dry $150 $150 $0 Indiana Dry $140 $140 $0 Iowa Dry $135 $135 $0 Michigan Dry $140 $140 $0 Minnesota Dry $130 $130 $0 Nebraska Dry $150 $150 $0 New York Dry $155 $155 $0 North Dakota Dry $145 $145 $0 Ohio Dry $145 $145 $0 South Dakota Dry $135 $135 $0 Wisconsin Dry $140 $140 $0 Valero Energy Corp, San Antonio, TX (402-932- 5299) Indiana Dry $140 $140 $0 Iowa Dry $135 $135 $0 Minnesota Dry $130 $130 $0 Nebraska Dry $145 $145 $0 Ohio Dry $140 $140 $0 South Dakota Dry $125 $125 $0 California $202 $202 $0 Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074) California Dry $212 $212 $0 *Prices listed per ton. Weekly Average $143 $142 $1 The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and California are not included in the averages. ** VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL Settlement Price: Quote Date Bushel Short Ton Corn 1/18/2018 $3.5150 $125.54 Soybean Meal 1/18/2018 $328.40 DDG Weekly Average Spot Price $143.00 DDG Value Relative to: 1/18 1/12 Corn 113.91% 114.00% Soybean Meal 43.54% 45.87% Cost Per Unit of Protein: DDG $5.30 $5.26 Soybean Meal $6.91 $6.52 Notes: Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price represents the average spot price from Midwest companies collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 27. Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com Follow Mary Kennedy on Twitter @MaryCKenn ****************************************************************************** DDG Prices Climb Higher OMAHA (DTN) -- The DTN average distillers dried grain (DDG) spot price from the 39 locations DTN collects bids from was $142 for the week ended Jan. 11, 4 cents higher than two weeks ago. Based on the average of bids collected by DTN, the value of DDG relative to corn for the week ended Jan. 11 was at 114.00%, and the value of DDG relative to soybean meal was at 45.87%. The cost per unit of protein for DDG was $5.26, compared to the cost per unit of protein for soybean meal at $6.52. Merchandisers noted that the market is higher in part due to tight supplies as ethanol plants have been running at a slower pace than normal. The EIA reported ethanol plant production in the United States fell 36,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a 996,000 bpd three-month low for the week ending Jan. 5. Higher drying costs and tight margins have been contributing factors to the slowdown. Merchandisers told me that containers destined for Vietnam in the Midwest are still waiting to be fumigated but can't be because of the cold weather. As discussed last week, Vietnam requires temperatures (for this time of year) to be 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum exposure period of five days. Also extreme ice conditions continue to plague the Illinois River where traffic is all but shut down. American Commercial Barge Line noted Thursday that limited movement remains on the Illinois River with significant tow-size reduction. "The max tow size is nine barges below Hennepin and four barges above. One major trouble spot is the Marseilles Canal, around mile 245. There is significant ice buildup in this area, making it difficult to transit. The Marseilles Lock queue is building, currently 12 boats. Based on the current forecast, we don't anticipate returning to normal tow size for another 30 days." On top of these issues on the Illinois River, tow size southbound from St. Louis to Cairo on the Mississippi River has been reduced due to ice and low water conditions. The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) said in its weekly price update that barge CIF NOLA prices are steady this week while FOB NOLA prices are $2/metric ton (MT) lower on light trading volume. "FOB NOLA prices are 124% of FOB NOLA corn values, which is at the upper end of the ratio's two-year trading range. Prices for 40-foot containers destined for Southeast Asia are $1/MT higher on average, but with light trading volume." CURRENT CURRENT CHANGE 1/11/ COMPANY STATE 2018 1/4/2018 Bartlett and Company, Kansas City, MO (816-753-6300) Missouri Dry $160 $165 -$5 Modified $80 $82 -$2 CHS, Minneapolis, MN (800-769-1066) Illinois Dry $144 $142 $2 Indiana Dry $145 $140 $5 Iowa Dry $133 $130 $3 Michigan Dry $150 $145 $5 Minnesota Dry $135 $130 $5 North Dakota Dry $145 $145 $0 New York Dry $160 $155 $5 South Dakota Dry $140 $137 $3 MGP Ingredients, Atchison, KS (800-255-0302 Ext. 5253) Kansas Dry $150 $150 $0 POET Nutrition, Sioux Falls, SD (888-327-8799) Indiana Dry $150 $145 $5 Iowa Dry $130 $128 $2 Michigan Dry $148 $140 $8 Minnesota Dry $130 $128 $2 Missouri Dry $150 $142 $8 Ohio Dry $148 $145 $3 South Dakota Dry $135 $135 $0 ` ` United BioEnergy, Wichita, KS (316-616-3521) Kansas Dry $145 $140 $5 Wet $60 $65 -$5 Illinois Dry $150 $148 $2 Nebraska Dry $145 $140 $5 Wet $60 $65 -$5 U.S. Commodities, Minneapolis, MN (888-293-1640) Illinois Dry $150 $140 $10 Indiana Dry $140 $130 $10 Iowa Dry $135 $130 $5 Michigan Dry $140 $135 $5 Minnesota Dry $130 $125 $5 Nebraska Dry $150 $145 $5 New York Dry $155 $140 $15 North Dakota Dry $145 $145 $0 Ohio Dry $145 $135 $10 South Dakota Dry $135 $135 $0 Wisconsin Dry $140 $130 $10 Valero Energy Corp., San Antonio, TX (402-932-5901) Indiana Dry $140 $135 $5 Iowa Dry $135 $130 $5 Minnesota Dry $130 $125 $5 Nebraska Dry $145 $145 $0 Ohio Dry $140 $135 $5 South Dakota Dry $125 $125 $0 California $202 $200 $2 Western Milling, Goshen, California (559-302-1074) California Dry $212 $206 $6 *Prices listed per ton. Weekly Average $142 $138 $4 The weekly average prices above reflect only those companies DTN collects spot prices from. States include: Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana. Prices for Pennsylvania, New York and California are not included in the averages. VALUE OF DDG VS. CORN & SOYBEAN MEAL Settlement Price: Quote Date Bushel Short Ton Corn 1/11/2018 $3.4875 $124.55 Soybean Meal 1/11/2018 $309.60 DDG Weekly Average Spot Price $142.00 DDG Value Relative to: 1/12 1/4 Corn 114.00% 110.08% Soybean Meal 45.87% 43.70% Cost Per Unit of Protein: DDG $5.26 $5.11 Soybean Meal $6.52 $6.65 Notes: Corn and soybean prices take from DTN Market Quotes. DDG price represents the average spot price from Midwest companies collected on Thursday afternoons. Soybean meal cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 47.5. DDG cost per unit of protein is cost per ton divided by 27. Mary Kennedy can be reached at mary.kennedy@dtn.com Follow Mary Kennedy on Twitter @MaryCKenn ******************************************************************************