Brazil Soy Shipments Snagged by 18.6-Mile Traffic Jam in North

The impact of Brazil’s late soybean harvest has hit the roads of the nation’s northern export route, ensnaring truckers in long lines and threatening further delays of shipments to China.

Trucks trying to unload the oilseed at the Miritituba river terminal in the northern state of Para formed a line as long as 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) in recent days, according to Edeon Vaz Ferreira, head of the logistics branch at farmer group Aprosoja. Traffic has been halted for at least a week on an unpaved stretch that provides access to the terminal, extending the stoppage to a federal highway.

“There’s a backlog of soybean trucks due to harvest delays in Mato Grosso,” Ferreira said in a phone interview, referring to Brazil’s largest producing state. “With the harvest highly concentrated this year, we may see more problems like this in the coming weeks.”

Brazil Soy Shipments Snagged by 18.6-Mile Traffic Jam in North

Mato Grosso’s soybean harvest was 22% complete on Feb. 12, less than the 58% harvested in the same period last year and the five-year average of 45%, according to Imea, the state’s rural economy institute. Reaping advanced by 10 percentage points in a week, unleashing soybeans from fields to ports. The harvest is more advanced at the state’s north, with those beans usually exported through the northern route.

“We didn’t receive one single truck in January,” said Flavio Acatauassu, head of Amport, a group representing companies operating at the Miritituba terminal including Cargill Inc., Louis Dreyfus Co. and Unitapajos, a joint venture between Bunge Ltd. and Brazil’s Amaggi. “The first truck arrived on Feb. 11 and all of them came together.”

Access to Miritituba River has been problematic for years due to an unpaved section of highway, where trucks would frequently get mired in muck. The thoroughfare was paved last year, fueling hopes of easier transport this soy season, though a 7-kilometer section connecting the terminal remains unpaved.

Heavy rains in the region during the past few days have made the issues caused by heavy traffic even worse, Acatauassu said in an interview.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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