Below normal rains in the Parana-Paraguay water basin is hampering grain transport through waterways in Argentina as the water level of the river has dropped significantly, Bolsa de Comercio de Rosario, or BCR, said in a report.
The water level of Parana river at Puerto Rosario is barely one meter and the last time it was below one meter in this region was on January 10, 1989, the report said.
Grain carrying ships need to reduce the loading according to the level of drop in water level, the report said.
This comes at a time of the peak harvest of corn and soybeans in Argentina. Moreover, truck movements in the country already face some issues due to restriction imposed to control the spread of coronavirus.
The transport of ships is likely to be delayed since pilots need to be cautious while maneuvering to avoid stranding in the river, the report said.
Arrival of soybeans from Paraguay is likely to get delayed by 10-15 days, the report said.
Soybeans from Paraguay is mixed with Argentine origin as it helps to raise the protein level of soybean meal that meets the international demand.
There are chances of slowdown in maize shipment in April-May as well, the report said.
To make matters worse, there are no forecast of sufficiently large rains until at least mid-April, and even if that occurs, the increase in water is likely to happen after 20-30 days, the report said.
Not only Parana river, water level in other key rivers (Uruguay) were also considerably below the average levels, the report said.
Argentina is the largest exporter of soy meal and one of the leading exporters of commodities including edible oils, corn and wheat.