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July 25, 2019

Bridge over Paraguay River to connect M. G. do Sul with Paraguay

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The government of Paraguay has authorized the construction of a bridge over the Paraguay River linking the Brazilian state of Mato Groso do Sul with Paraguay. The bridge would connect the municipalities of Porto Murtinho in Mato Grosso do Sul with Carmelo Peralta in Paraguay. The 680 meter bridge is expected to cost R$ 290 million (approximately $76 million at the current exchange rate) and would be financed by Itaipu Paraguai. Construction is expected to start in April of 2020 and last three years.

This bridge is part of what is being called the Bioceanic Corridor linking the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans via land transportation. The goal of this and other projects is to facilitate the movement of grain from Brazil to ports on the Pacific Ocean and eventually to customers in Asia.

This bridge would reduce the time needed to transport soybeans from Mato Grosso do Sul to China by 17 days compared to using the traditional ports of Santos and Paranagua in southern Brazil.

There are already port facilities at Porto Murtinho in Mato Grosso do Sul, but they are currently used to transport soybeans by barge down the Paraguay River to export facilities on the Parana River in Argentina. The Paraguay River is now a navigable waterway from southwestern Mato Grosso until it joins the Parana River on Paraguay's border with Argentina. From there, the water eventually empties into the Atlantic Ocean near Buenos Aires. It is anticipated that some of soybeans that are currently barged down the Paraguay River could be offloaded at Porto Murtinho and then be transported west by truck to ports on the Pacific Ocean.