June 5, 2012

Ports in Northern and Northeastern Brazil Focus of Improvements

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

Brazil's economy continues to produce more products for export, but Brazil's ports have been very slow to make the needed investments necessary to handle the increased volume. This is especially true of the ports in northern and northeastern Brazil. According to a representative of the President's Special Secretary for Ports (SEP), they are projecting that 2 billion tons of products will move through the 34 Brazilian ports in the near future and a special emphasis must be made on improving the ports in northern Brazil. This was the main topic of discussion at the Fourteenth Meeting of the Center-North Export Corridor Committee recently held in Brasilia.

Currently, 15% of the soybean and corn exports from Brazil move through these northern ports and that is expected to increase to 30% within the next fifteen years. But, in order for that to occur, much more investments will be needed to increase the capacity of these northern ports.

Increasing the volumes of these northern ports is also seen as a way to relieve some of the chronic congestion that continues to plague the larger ports in southern Brazil such as the Ports of Santos and Paranagua.

Agricultural production continues to move northward in Brazil as farmers in southern Brazil max out their available land resources. Exporting products from these northern locations through the ports in southern Brazil is extremely expensive so farmers and exporters are looking northward to the Amazon River and northeastern Brazil as a cheaper alternative.

The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, has taken special interest in improving the port situation in Brazil as a way to help the Brazilian economy continue to expand, but limited financial resources has slowed the improvement process. Everyone in Brazil realizes that improvements are needed and there are currently 400 different studies being conducted analyzing the expected demand for more exports from Brazil's northern ports.