World Grain - October 2011 - (Page 32)

FEATURE long haul U .S. shippers have been exporting grain in containers since they became widely used in the ocean trades over 30 years ago. But it took powerful changes in shipping supply and demand to prompt widespread use. In the 1980s and 1990s, according to figures supplied by Informa Economics, exports of grain and soybeans in containers were negligible, only passing the 100-box mark in four months spread across the two decades. The first time the U.S. exported more than 1,000 containers of grain and soybeans in a month was December 2004. However, since then there has, quite literally, been a sea-change in the habits of exporters. Since the end of 2004, monthly box exports have only dipped below the 1,000 mark once, in July 2005. Indeed, in January 2008 the total soared past 30,000 containers and only dropped below 5,000 boxes per month once – in May 2010 – between February 2006 and September 2011. The growing use of containers from late 2004 was prompt(Above) Shipping containers at the Port of Tacoma filled with U.S. and Canadian grain. Photo courtesy of the Port of Tacoma. 32 In it for the by Michael King Use of containers for grain exports to be key part of trading landscape for years to come ed by a number of factors. Most important was the huge spike in bulk carrier freight rates from 2004 to 2008 (see BDI chart, page 34). Instead of containers being the preserve of specialty grains and identity preserved crop producers, the surging price of shipping in bulk, at a time when container rates were relatively steady, prompted more and more exporters to switch at least some cargoes to boxes, despite the higher additional costs incurred using this method such as paperwork, inspections, trucking and rail transport costs. Growing demand from Asia also created fresh demand, October 2011 / World Grain /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of World Grain - October 2011

World Grain - October 2011
Grain’s influence on global population trends
News review
Focus on Turkey
In it for the long haul
Deregulation shapes shipping market in Australia
Port developments
News Roundup
Thai rice plan controversial
A growing force in corn
Is biotech blooming in Europe?
A battle for China
Marketing maneuvers
Biofuels News Review
A new imaging method for millers
U.S. soy crushers face challenges
IAOM Eurasia
Flour trade prospects improve
Ridding your facility of rodents
Intersystems expanding Omaha facility
OCRIM school educates millers from around the world
Perten Instruments acquires TexVol Instruments
Food Protection Alliance names Schmitz as director
SternMaid to participate in Food Ingredients Europe
Insta-Pro International names Latin American sales manager
Alltech realigns leadership team
Advertiser Index

World Grain - October 2011