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October 4, 2019

Brazil and Paraguay closer to Linking Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

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

The goal of linking the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean by highway across southern South America took a step closer to reality this week when Brazil and Paraguay established a joint commission to design the details of a bridge over the Paraguay River. The bridge would connect the municipalities of Porto Murtinho in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil with the municipality of Carmelo Peralta in Paraguay.

Brazil and Paraguay have been working on ways to move grain westward to ports on the Pacific Ocean instead of eastward to ports on the Atlantic Ocean in southeastern Brazil as a way to reduce the cost of transporting grain from South America to customers in Asia. The proposed highway link from Mato Grosso do Sul to ports in Chile would reduce the time required to move grain from Mato Grosso do Sul to China by 17 days.

From Campo Grande, which is the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul, to the port city of Antofagasta in Chile is 2,400 kilometers. On the Paraguay side of the river, the government is already in the process of paving a 600 kilometer section of a highway that will link into existing highways that continue on to Chile.

The US$ 75 million Bridge will extend 680 meters and be high enough to allow river traffic to pass underneath.

The commission designing the bridge will consist of 21 members from both countries. The commission is scheduled to meet on November 5th to analyze documents that will be presented by the Paraguay Minister of Public Works and the Brazilian National Department of Infrastructure and Transportation.