PORTS OF ROSARIO, ARGENTINA: DOWNSPOUT OF THE PARANÁ RIVER LIMITS CARGO CAPACITY OF SHIPS
So far in 2021, US $ 620 million have been lost in soybean meal and oil exports.
The downspout of the Paraná River, especially in the Timbúes-Ocean section, has limited the cargo capacities of the vessels that plow through the river waters, forcing cargo to be diverted to other ports. This situation has had a particularly strong impact on Argentine exports and has reduced the prices of the main by-products of the soybean and corn complex, the Rosario Stock Exchange (BCR) reported.
In this sense, the higher logistics costs to get the products from the ports to the edge of the Paraná impact on the export prices for Gran Rosario origin, widening the differential with the Brazilian cargo. The gap between FOB Paranaguá and FOB Up River / Rosario for soybean meal is currently at its worst FOB price differential since 2013.
With more than 25 million tons of by-products from the soy complex already shipped so far this year, a loss of more than US $ 620 million is estimated for these shipments from the Up River.
Given these conditions, soybean meal and oil exports are currently being shipped with prices that limit the entry of dollars to Argentina, in view of the lower competitiveness of its Argentine products and the severe difficulties in port logistics due to the low flow. from the Paraná-Paraguay Waterway near Rosario.
Losses since the beginning of 2021
According to the BCR, the losses were accounted for from the beginning of the year 2021 to the present. However, the low level of the river has been observed since September 2019, in view of the drop in the water level below the minimum of 2.47 meters that must be registered at the height of Rosario for the finalized concession to force Hidrovía SA to guarantee the 34 feet of draft.
Only February 2021 was found with an average height higher than this reference minimum in the last two years. Currently, with the height of the Paraná at negative levels in the Puerto de Rosario hydrometer and a continuation of the decreasing trend, no scenario expects a recovery of the water level at least until December of this year, according to the National Institute of Water (INA).
Regarding soybean meal, the negative differential impacts more with the rise in exports of this fundamental product derived from soybeans. After the minimum of 17.8 Mt in the January-August 2020 period, exports have recovered and already exceed 20.2 Mt in the same period. Regarding soybean oil, the losses from the downspout have been even more critical, due to the fact that the divergence in prices with the port of Paranaguá has intensified very strongly in recent months.
Due to these circumstances, the loading of corn from Bahía Blanca has broken historical records. This has resulted in price increases in the south of Buenos Aires, while relative stability has been observed in Rosario prices. While in September an average of US $ 230 / t of corn has been paid on Bahía Blanca, in Rosario the price oscillates around US $ 192 / t, which poses a differential of around US $ 38 / t.
The picture was completely different in September of last year, when the corn shipped in Bahía Blanca averaged US $ 156 / t and that of Rosario US $ 158 / t, a difference of $ 2 / t in favor of the Up River ports.