US grain exports are typically low at this time of year already, but the passage of Hurricane Ida over southern Louisiana and the Mississippi River is limiting exports even further. Nearly 50% of the approximately 301,334 Mt of waterborne corn, wheat and soybeans loaded in the US so far this year, have originated from the ports of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

The last loadings from those two ports were made on August 26, which was three days before the storm made landfall on August 29. Baton Rouge loaded the Supramax Guma, with 20,396 Mt of corn and 4,682 Mt of soybeans. New Orleans last loaded 3,563 Mt of wheat aboard the Handymax Ocean Joy. Being the low season for grain loadings could be giving shippers a break, as shown by subdued loadings at smaller ports along the Mississippi prior to the storm. Destrehan last loaded 4,948 Mt of corn on August 21 and St. Rose loaded 3,563 Mt of wheat on August 20.

It is not clear when the Mississippi River will be cleared for shipping or when next loadings will be made. Parts of the river are blocked by barges that broke away from docks, or by power lines which fell into the river.

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