Monday, 26 July 2021 17:00

Low river levels force Argentine grains ships to cut cargoes by 25% Featured

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina: The lowest waters in 77 years is reducing the amount of grain being shipped from Argentina’s most import grain hub of Rosario on the Parana River.

Officials report that ships are having to reduce cargoes by 25 percent due to the low water levels, the head of the local ports chamber said on Friday.

Officials say there is no relief in sight and the area is expected to remain dry for months.

The Parana is responsible for carrying some 80 percent of Argentina’s farm exports. Excessively dry weather upriver in Brazil has reduced shipping from the Parana, including soy, wheat and corn crops.

Argentine officials do not now how the low river will effect wheat exports later this year.

"Today, ships are loading about 25% less than they do when the river is at normal levels," Guillermo Wade, manager of Argentina’s Chamber of Port and Maritime Activities, told Reuters.

"If the situation does not reverse, and nothing suggests that it will, we will be losing 40% of what ships usually carry when water levels are normal," he added.

Argentina’s has been a major corn and wheat exporter. It is also the world’s top supplier of soymeal livestock feed.

Grain exports remain Argentina’s main source of foreign currency.

"We expect drier than normal conditions to persist for another three months across Southern Brazil. This would suggest that river levels will remain low or even drop lower in the months ahead," said Isaac Hankes, a weather analyst at Refinitiv, the financial and risk business of Thomson Reuters.