Two new grain - and oilseed-loading terminals have been inaugurated at Miritituba and Barcarena in the northern Brazil state of Para. Together, they are expected to increase the country's export capacity by 4 million tons per year.
This year, the new terminals will handle about 2.5 million tons, mostly soy, and they are expected to be operating at full capacity next year. Brazil's soy harvests have been growing each year, overloading highways leading to the jammed southern ports of Santos and Paranagua and slowing exports.
The new terminals will allow some of the grain to be diverted away from the crowded southern ports by taking advantage of a highway being paved through the Amazon jungle that will link the main soy-growing areas of Mato Grosso state with the Amazon river and its tributaries. The paving of the road from Mato Grosso to Miritituba is scheduled to be completed in the next two years.
The Miritituba terminal is located on the Tapajos river and will transfer grains from trucks to barges, which will float down to the Amazon river and down to the terminal in Barcarena. There the grain will be transferred to oceangoing ships for export. The Barcarena terminal's capacity could be doubled in size by 2018 if demand requires.