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May 4, 2021

Low Water on Parana River Concerns Argentine Exporters

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

Low water levels on the Parana River in Argentina is already becoming a concern for exporters in Argentina and the annual dry season has just barely begun. There is not much rainfall in the forecast for most of south-central Brazil, which is the watershed area for the Parana River. As a result, the water level of the Parana River is expected to decline quickly in the months ahead.

Officials in Paraguay are already reporting the soybean barges are being stranded along the Paraguay River due to low water levels and the situation is expected to get worse.

When a similar situation occurred last year along the Parana River, vessels at the Port of Rosario were not able to load to full capacity due to the low water levels. At the time, the Argentine government asked the governments of Brazil and Paraguay to increase the discharge at the Itaipu Dam to increase the water level of the Parana River, which they did.

Making the situation even more complicated is the fact that the contract to dredge the channel in the Parana River expired on April 30th and the Argentine Minister of Transportation died in an auto accident a couple of weeks ago. How all this gets resolved is a "work in progress." Stay tuned.