August 06th – Upriver Draft

August 06th 2020

Upriver Draft

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.

Local Holidays: Monday, August 10th, San Lorenzo Patron Saint’s day. Local Holiday and Services are paid and rendered as a Sunday in San Lorenzo.

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

Argentina, Ammonium nitrate: After the tragic event in Beirut last Tuesday 4th August we have looked into this trade in Argentina. Ammonium nitrate is imported to Argentina for mainly agricultural fertilizer and mining purposes. The latest available statistics are for 2017 when 39,000 metric tons were imported. This cargo is brought in to the country under very strict controls supervised by ANMaC (Agencia Nacional de Materiales Controlados), the Government entity that supervises any element that is deemed to be of national importance. There is also Customs and CoastGuard supervision. The discharge and storage is very closely followed and all facilities have strict survey procedures with the physical presence of ANMaC surveyors. Ammonium nitrate is used for both fertilizer and explosive material. The extensive mining trade at the foot, or in, the Andes mountains is a significant consumer. The shipments are usually in Big Bags and to ports that are distant from urban centers, with specialized storage are used. As these ports are on the Atlantic coastline the Big Bags are then road transported to final usage destinations.

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 Pilots used to be excepted but this has now been withdrawn.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.

River Parana draft: The draft on the River Parana is expected to be running lower than 10 meters over the coming weeks. The forecast now is for 9.70 meters, plus or minus 30 centimeters. The drought is again affecting the volume of water in the River. The average River level measured at Rosario for the period 1994/2018 was 3.07 meters at this time of the year. Whereas today it stands at 0.61 meters. The drop in the River draft may be mitigated for a few days by the strong SSE-SE winds that will allow the River Plate tides to stem the outflow.


Wheat: The Egyptian GASC is the market to import 410,000 metric tons of wheat. Regretfully, for Argentina, the origin is to be Russian.

Argentine Debt: The Government has been congratulating itself intensely on the result of the re-negotiation of the close to be defaulted debt. As said before the debt holders have agreed to take a haircut on the debt and to extend the payment of the interest. Many details are still to be worked out but it seems that the core terms have been agreed.

Export licenses: On August 5th export licenses were taken for 220,000 metric tons of maize, 60,000 metric tons of soymeal, 40,000 metric tons of sorghum and 30,000 metric tons of wheat.

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

Arroyo Seco-Lagos/Dreyfus berths: The CoastGuard have issued a regulation valid as from today, August 06th, that the maximum sailing draft for both Dreyfus berths, Dry and Liquid, is to be calculated according to the following formula: 9.20 meters Depth Plus Average River level of Rosario and Villa Constitución Minus 0.60 meters under keel clearance. The result of this calculation will be rounded down. For reference, the calculation according to today’s river level is as follows:
9.200 meters Depth

0.435 meters (average Rosario 0.49 meters and VConstitución 0.380 meters)

(0.600) meters UKC

9.035 meters maximum sailing draft for August 06th, 2020

This new regulation has been issued because after surveys conducted over the last few days a sandbank has appeared in the river slightly north of the berths in the area where vessels maneuver for berthing and departure. We shall be informing the daily maximum sailing draft in our daily draft report.

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

Necochea: The port remains open since July 29th at 0950 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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