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May 29, 2019

Port of Paranagua in Brazil set to Load Largest Vessel Ever to Dock

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

All the investments over the last few years to expand and modernize the Port of Paranagua in southern Brazil are starting to pay off. The Port of Paranagua is now in the process of loading the largest grain vessel to ever dock at the port. The Chinese vessel Lan Hua Hai arrived Monday night (May 27th) at the port and it will be loaded with 90,000 tons of soybean meal, which is the equivalent of 2,500 trucks. The loading operation is expected to take 4 days.

The vessel is 254 meters long and 43 meters wide and it is the largest vessel to ever dock at the export corridor at the port, which consists of three public berths. What is unique in Brazil about the export corridor at Paranagua is that a large vessel such as this can be loaded from a pool of various providers because many of the storage facilities are interconnected.

The soybean meal that will be loaded into the seven cargo holds of the Lan Hua Hai will come from four different grain terminals: Cotriguacu, Coamo, Cargill, and the Public Silo. The soybean meal is headed to Holland and it was purchased from various companies and cooperatives including: Cargill, ADM, Coamo, Cocamar, Agraria and Comingo.

An advantage at Paranagua is that large vessels such as this that will be loaded with soybean meal, are given priority for loading. The investments in dredging of the berths and new ship loaders give vessel owners the confidence that their vessel will be loaded at the lowest cost possible. All of these investments at the Port of Paranagua were the result of increased competition from Brazil's "Northern Arc" of ports on the Amazon River and along the northern Atlantic Coast.

The average size vessel that usually docks at Paranagua are Panamax size that are 199 to 229 meters long with a capacity of 60,000 tons. So the Lan Hua Hai has a capacity 50% larger than the average Panamax vessel.

The export corridor (three berths) has six ship loaders each with a capacity of 1,500 tons per hour. The public corridor has one vertical silo with a capacity of 100,000 tons and four horizontal storage facilities each with a capacity of 60,000 tons. At the port as a whole, there are eight other terminals, both private and leased, resulting in the port's total storage capacity of 1,025,000 tons.

The largest vessels to load at the Port of Paranagua prior to the Lan Hua Hai was the Nord Cetus in October of 2013 with 84,755 tons and the Jubilant Devotion in March of 2018 with 84,732 tons. Both vessels are 245 meters long and they were loaded with soybean meal.