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Parana River Reopens to Vessel Traffic with Draft Restrictions

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 20, 2024

© Alex Ruhl / Adobe Stock

© Alex Ruhl / Adobe Stock

Argentina's Parana River, a global grains thoroughfare, reopened to shipping traffic on Tuesday after a grounded ship was freed, though vessels were told to load less grain while the damage to the channel was assessed.

Shipping traffic had been snarled after the ship Clara Insignia, loaded with wheat, ran aground near the waterway's main channel and was stuck for several days, blocking the channel down river from the Rosario grains port hub.

The bulk carrier was freed late on Monday, but navigation remained closed earlier on Tuesday while checks were made on the shipping channel.

"Navigation is now freed up," Guillermo Wade, the head of the maritime port chamber, told Reuters, adding that he had received notification from authorities that ships could go up the Parana again to the Rosario port terminals.

But although traffic was normalized, Wade said it was being "loaded at a lower shipping draft (less volume on the ships) because the dredging vessel is still working to improve the depth."

Argentina is a leading exporter of processed soybeans, the No. 3 for corn and a major wheat producer. Some 80% of farm produce goes down the Parana river, a waterway that runs through Brazil, Paraguay, before arriving at the sea in Argentina.

Shipping traffic through the Parana is relatively light at this time of the year since transport of soybeans and corn mainly starts around April

(Reuters - Reporting by Maximilian Heath and Ashitha Shivaprasad; Editing by David Evans, Shron Singleton, Aurora Ellis and Barbara Lewis)

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