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May 28, 2020

Paranagua Operating Normally after brief Suspension at Berth 214

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

One of the berths at the Port of Paranagua in southern Brazil was closed for a period of 24 hours earlier this week after a crew member from the vessel Mv Clymene was diagnosed with Covid-19. The berth has since reopened and loading operations of the port are proceeding normally.

Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, crew members of vessels arriving at the Port of Paranagua have not been allowed to disembark until after 14 days of arriving at their first Brazilian port.

This vessel was in the process of being loaded with soybeans at berth 214 when the Captain notified port officials on Monday that one of his crew members needed medical attention. Medical personnel from the port confirmed that he had contracted Covid-19 and he was transported to the Paranagua Hospital where he is said to be in stable condition.

After being examined and disinfected by local sanitation officials, berth 214 was reopened late Tuesday night and loading operations have proceeded normally with another vessel replacing Mv Clymene. Berth 214 has the capacity to load 40,000 tons of soybeans every 24 hours. The Mv Clymene vessel had been loaded with 35,000 tons when operations were suspended with another 27,000 tons needed to complete the load.

All the other crew members were tested and none were allowed off the vessel which has since been put under quarantine and moved to Area 62 of the Paranagua Bay. The vessel is registered in Malta and is awaiting further instruction from Brazilian sanitation officials.

This is the first case of Corvid-19 registered at the Port of Paranagua since the outbreak of the pandemic. Port officials have the authority to suspend operations any time they suspect that the health of the port workers could be jeopardized by the virus.

Up until this point, Brazil's exports have not been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and in fact, Brazil has exported record amounts of soybeans during March, April, and May with 80% of those soybeans destined for China.