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Mississippi River gridlock improves but forecasts indicate likelihood of ongoing drought

Monday brought some relief to the Mississippi River gridlock that on the weekend saw more than 2,000 barges backed up. According to the US Coast Guard, that number had dropped yesterday to 22 vessels and 392 barges.

Efforts by the Coast Guard and the US Army Corps of Engineers to refloat grounded vessels and to dredge the river as required to keep ships and barges moving have certainly helped temporarily.

However, meteorologists do not foresee rain in the forecast for some time, meaning the water level in the river could lower further.

The Mississippi River is a critical maritime highway for shipments from the US to global markets of commodities including grain, soybeans and petroleum. According to the US National Park Service, about 60% of all grain exported from America is shipped on the river.

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