Ocean freight rates for shipping bulk grains have risen for five consecutive weeks.

As of March 10, the rate for shipping a metric ton (MT) of grain from the U.S. Gulf to Japan was $79.00 — 12% more than the beginning of the year, 37% more than the same period last year, and 70% above the four-year average.

The rate from the Pacific Northwest to Japan was $44.25 per MT —14% more than the beginning of the year, 36% more than the same period last year, and 72% above the four-year average.

At $29.50 per MT, the U.S-to-Europe rate was up 12% from the beginning of the year, up 39% from the same period last year, and up 75% from the four-year average.

According to the March 10 issue of the Transportation and Export Report by O’Neil Commodity Consulting, the rate hike is driven by rising crude oil prices caused by the war in Ukraine, affecting trade throughout the Black Sea region.

According to Energy Information Administration’sShort-Term Energy Outlook, Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $97 per barrel (b) in February — an $11/b increase from January — and are expected to average $117/b in March.

This article comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's March 17, 2022, Grain Transportation Report.

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