The region stopped loading more than 225,000 tons due to the intense downspout in the Hidrovía. Bahía Blanca, the other side of the phenomenon.


A report from the Rosario Stock Exchange estimated that as a result of the worst downspout of the Paraná River in more than 50 years, the participation of the Greater Rosario ports in total shipments of Argentine grains, oils and by-products in 2021 fell to its lowest percentage in almost a quarter of a century. It is about 225,000 tons less, a mark that has not been registered since 1998. Bahía Blanca took advantage of the phenomenon in the Litoral and its activity grew by 36.9% in relation to 2020.


“The water level of the Paraná River at the height of the Gran Rosario reached its lowest mark in the last 50 years in 2021, seriously affecting dispatches from the node. Shipments of grains, oils and by-products from the terminals between Arroyo Seco to the south and Timbúes to the north are estimated for a total of 69.8 million tons, according to preliminary information from MAGyP, NABSA and own estimates. That is, about 225,000 tons less than the previous year ”, they specified from the Rosario entity.


Although the figure is the lowest since the drought of 2018, in that year all Argentine ports suffered the same shortage. This year, however, the problem seems to be focused on the waters of the Hidrovía.


“The drop in shipments from Greater Rosario coincides with an increase in the total tons of grains, oils and by-products shipped from Argentina abroad, which reached an estimated 93.9 million tons, 5% above 2020”, compared.


As a result of the above, the participation of the Gran Rosario in total dispatches fell from 78% in 2020 to 74% in 2021, the lowest record since 1998.


“At that time, the docks to the north and south of Rosario loaded less than 30 million tons in the year. On the other hand, the share of Bahía Blanca’s ocean terminals in total shipments reached a historical record of 14%. More than 13 million tons of grains and by-products were shipped from the southern node of Buenos Aires in 2021, the highest tonnage in its history “, they specified from Rosario.


Rosario had problems throughout the year to get international ships.


The forecasts

“Beginning in 2022, the outlook is not encouraging. The first days of the year find Paraná again with a negative height with respect to the reference record, at -0.15 meters at the height of Rosario on January 3 ”, remarked from BCR.


As estimated, the National Water Institute (INA) projections for January 11 are -0.10 m, reaching -0.4 meters in the most negative scenario and only 0.10 meters positive in the most promising scenario. . They remain unfavorable for January and February. If this trend is not broken, the tonnage loaded on the ships could continue to suffer, impacting millions of dollars in losses for the export of Argentine agro-industrial products ”, they argued.


Throughout all of 2021, the intense downspout of the Paraná River seriously affected work on ships. And a well-known ghost appeared again in the area: the “false freight”.


“Logically, this very low level of water had a strong impact on the cargoes of the ships. Taking the last quarter of 2021, the average load of slightly more than 540 ships in the Up River was located at 30,427 tons, 10.7% below the 33,724 tons for the same period in 2020 ”, they pointed out.


The activity in the ports of Bahía Blanca had a great accolade from products that were not.


Bahía Blanca, the other side

What happened in the Paraná River is the explanation of the inversely proportional result in the southern ports. “Without a doubt, 2021 was a year of intense activity in the local port,” they reported from the Bahía Blanca Cereal Exchange.


“The exported volume of cereals, oilseeds and by-products by the Port of Bahía Blanca reached 13.15 million tons, showing a significant year-on-year increase of 36.9%. It is noteworthy that once again corn was imposed as the main grain exported as a result of the effects of the downspout of the Paraná River and the expansion process that has been manifested since 2017 ”, they explained


Unlike 2020, where May was the month of greatest activity, in 2021 it was September, with more than 1.81 million tons shipped.


“Given that corn is the main cereal exported by the port of Bahía Blanca and the crop on which the greatest effects of the Paraná river downspout were evidenced, the average effective load per vessel in the period May-December 2021 was analyzed. compared to a historical average completion of 21,500 Tn3 ”, they concluded