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Argentina and Brazil trying to lift the water level of the Parana River, in the heartland of the soy belt

Saturday, April 18th 2020 - 19:56 UTC
Full article 7 comments
A drought over the southern hemisphere means the river is at its lowest level since 1989, costing Argentina’s crop traders money at a time when the soybean harvest is starting to roll in A drought over the southern hemisphere means the river is at its lowest level since 1989, costing Argentina’s crop traders money at a time when the soybean harvest is starting to roll in

The governments of Argentina and Brazil are in talks to release water from the giant Itaipu Dam with a view to topping up the Parana River, where ebbing levels are conspiring against a US$ 20-billion-a-year crop export business.

Diplomats from the South American neighbors are holding a round of talks, according to an official at Argentina’s Foreign Ministry. Brazil requires power from Itaipu, one of the biggest hydroelectric plants in the world, for its energy needs, but it has shown willingness to help Argentina, which is suffering from the low river levels, the official said.

A drought over the southern hemisphere summer means the river is at its lowest level since 1989, costing Argentina’s crop traders money at a time when the soybean harvest is starting to roll in. The country is the world’s biggest exporter of soy meal and soy oil.

The water level in Rosario, a key Argentine port city, is just 78 centimeters (31 inches), nearly five times lower than the average for this time of year, according to government data. Exporters have lost three feet of loading capacity in bulk carriers, which means they’re filling as much as 7,500 fewer metric tons, depending on the ship.

Eventually, it may be difficult for crushing plant-port complexes to receive cargoes trucked in by farmers at the usual pace, tightening supply to the global soy-meal market, said Esteban Moscariello, a trader in Rosario for brokerage house Diaz Riganti Cereales.

Topping up at sea ports in the Atlantic is also adding to logistics costs.

Belgian dredging company Jan de Nul is doing emergency work to add depth to the river channel. But with dryness persisting, the water could continue to ebb more quickly than its dredgers can dig, said Gustavo Idigoras, president of crop crushing and export group Ciara-Cec, whose members include the so-called ABCD giants of agricultural trading.

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  • Enrique Massot

    imoyaro

    You do not even read -- or understand -- postings before coming up with your usual diatribe.

    If you had taken the time or made an effort -- don't know whether you are able to -- you would have noticed that, besides my mention of Brazil's current president, my post addressed no a particular government or political party. And rightly so, as most governments and parties in Latin America still need to learn how to apply conservation policies while striving to generate export currency.

    Gotcha.

    Apr 20th, 2020 - 02:51 am 0
  • Enrique Massot

    Camarada imoyaro

    “You view farmers, even small ones, as an 'oppressor' class.”

    With all due respect, you don't get to decide who I view as 'oppressor.'

    Farmers, I was one. And never viewed small, medium size or large farmers as 'oppressors.'

    Also, would you be able, to make your point, present an example a bit more recent than the one you submitted from 2008? Also, that's a bit fuzzy example because at the time the farmers were also pretty belligerent -- I hope you get my drift.

    You could comment something about the four-year term of president Macri (2015-2019) about which I never saw an opinion of yours.

    And feel free to comment on current president Alberto Fernandez who so far is doing a fantastic job, notably by controlling the coronavirus pandemic.

    As for potential 'catastrophes' threatening my home country, let us Argentines take care of it. At the moment, however, I'd be much more alarmed about countries such as the U.S. and Brazil, which are currently shooting their foot themselves.

    Apr 21st, 2020 - 03:50 am 0
  • Enrique Massot

    Imoyaro

    I get you will come up with every insult and defamatory terms you can get because my opinions are opposed to yours. I understand you can't manage frustration that well.

    However, I could not help but note this statement of yours among the insults:

    “CFK...set up the train wreck for Macri.”

    That is remarkable.

    Do I understand correctly that former president Mauricio Macri conducted the country as a “train wreck?” and that was because of CFK?

    I do hope you understand that Argentina uses a system known as “presidential” where the president has significant authority to conduct business. I hope you also know that former Argentina president Macri made abundant use of his prerogatives, for example borrowing abroad without asking for the Congress' opinion.

    I hope you do know that Macri was able to pass most of the bills his government alliance presented in Congress thanks to a divided opposition?

    I hope this is not too much verbiage for you. I would suggest you may wanna do some research on the topic and then we can debate further?

    Apr 27th, 2020 - 12:29 am 0
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