The leader of the Soy Transportation Coalition says exporters are paying close attention as Hurricane Ida bears down on the gulf coast.
Mike Steenhoek tells Brownfield 61% of U.S. soybean and 58% of corn exports depart through New Orleans. “Even though this time of year is more, you know, lackadaisical when it comes to soybean exports, our export window is really between the months of September and February, we’re still exporting out of that area, and there’s still a lot of corn exports occurring.”
Steenhoek says nearly 500 barges of grain were unloaded near the gulf last week before the Coast Guard stopped Mississippi River traffic for about 100 miles in anticipation of the storm.
Steenhoek says when the storm is over, there is still a concern if export terminals have any damage or if their electrical power is on. “We’ve seen, you know, already in the New Orleans area and in the surrounding areas, you know, power has gone off, and so that’s really the big determining factor is when you see power actually restored and then I guess finally is the damage assessment.”
Steenhoek does not expect a long-term river closure but is concerned if terminals might need to repair damages before resuming the normal flow of exports.