August 04th – Bahia Blanca

August 04th 2020

Bahia Blanca & Harvest

In view of the ongoing developing situation and different communications and instructions being issued by Sanitary Authorities of the Argentine Government we have chosen to send a consolidated daily report at the closing of working hours with an update of the day’s news.

National Holidays: Next National Holiday Monday August 17th, San Martin day.

Recalada and Upriver pilots: The Uruguayan Government has now started requiring all persons entering the country to have a Covid free certificate. Pilots used to be excepted but this has now been withdrawn. As a result of this situation pilots transiting by land to Montevideo to board at Recalada are being delayed or not allowed in. This is causing a shortage of pilots at Recalada because the only way to “supply” the station is with outbound vessels. Until the situation is resolved inbound vessels are being subjected to delays due to lack of pilots.

Wheat 2020/2021 Harvest: Further to our last circulars and after conversations with farmers. The expectation is that the crop, given the lack of humidity will be less than ideal. But these are yet early days to make a secure forecast tied to figures. The crop will be affected no doubt but more in regard to quality of the grain than in quantity. There is still a long way to go before November when the wheat will start to be harvested.

Argentine Debt: Early today morning, August 04th, the National Government announced that a preliminary agreement has been reached with debt bond holders for a re-structuring of the debt that was close to default. There still remains a further negotiation of the exact terms and a further agreement with the IMF for monies owed and additional financing that will be needed to cover Government spending over the coming years.

Export licenses: Licenses were issued on August 03rd for 221,000 metric tons of maize and 21,000 metric tons of soy oil.

San Lorenzo: Cargill Quebracho berth will be closed for maintenance between August 20th and August 23rd.

Recalada: Recalada closes often due to swell, fog and high winds. Usual during the early winter months.

San Nicolas: Despite all the dredging investment at the port, and mainly due to the low volume of water in the River vessels arriving or departing on maximum permitted drafts have touched bottom when alongside at berths. The situation is being monitored closely and we will revert.

Necochea: The port remains open since July 29th at 0845 hours. The last closure was on July 27th at 1410 hours.

Bahia Blanca: Pilotage service has been suspended at intervals over the last few days due to bad weather.

Bahia Blanca is also imposing a 14 day quarantine on arriving vessels. This quarantine can be excepted if the terminal where the vessel will load produces proof that an earlier berthing is required. Also an agreement with the stevedores union that adequate precautionary measures will be taken to satisfy the workers attending onboard so as to avoid contagion.

Crew changes: Crew changes are not possible in Argentina TODAY. There are rumors that flights may again be allowed as from early September. The National airline, Aerolineas Argentinas, has been selling tickets on a Hot Week sale as from date, subject to the re-opening of borders under the present Sanitary Emergency.
Uruguay has allowed entry into the country under very strict restrictions. Travelers must have a prior negative Covid 19 test 72 hours prior being allowed entry. Crew members boarding are not allowed to stop at any stage between landing at the airport (Montevideo) and boarding the vessel. Once onboard the vessel they must comply with a 14 day quarantine onboard before being allowed to work. Departing crew must proceed directly from the vessel to the airport. Considering that there are at the moment few international flights these requirements make it very difficult for crew members to enter or leave the country. Additionally to this before a boarding crew member is allowed permit of entry the agreement of Sanitary Authority, Immigration and CoastGuard must be obtained.

*** IMPORTANT *** Recalada/Zona Comun. New procedures for arriving vessels:As from Sunday June 14th, the CoastGuard medics are not attending at Recalada. The change is that now medics are boarding vessels at Zona Comun, but only as from 0900 hours. It means that the preliminary inspection has added cost. Each vessel must pay a launch service for the two medics and additionally the pilots charge an anchoring fee. This will amount to additional cost as follows:
USD 1,900.00 launch service, Monday to Friday. Saturdays, Sundays and National Holidays USD 2,080.00


USD ——– Pilot’s anchoring fee calculated as follows: USD 14.00 per Fiscal Unit of the vessel. FUs are calculated basis (LOA x Beam x Molded depth)/800.

The latest instruction is that inbound vessels will sail from Recalada so as to arrive at Zona Comun approximately 0800 hours so as to be inspected during daylight hours. On the other hand most vessels arriving at Recalada with more than 14 days since last port of call are frequently allowed to proceed to load port without stoppage.

Will keep you posted.

Best regards,
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.

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