December 30th – We wish all our readers a VERY HAPPY and PROSPEROUS 2022

We wish all our readers a VERY HAPPY and PROSPEROUS 2022

Holidays: Friday, December 31st, 2021 and Saturday January 01st, 2022.

Work over the coming New Year Week-end:

Customs has announced that Friday 31st will be considered overtime and that Customs services charged on that ratio.

Tugboat service will be rendered up to 1900 hours of December 31st and will resume January 01st (2022) at 0800 hours (Necochea has come into line with the rest)

Tugboat service: Tug boats are under a mandatory truce period imposed by the Ministry of Labor until max January 05th, 2022. At Necochea and Bahia Blanca service is rendered for 12 hours periods, each day, counting as from the first service of the day. Other ports are working normally while the truce lasts.

Agriproduct Season 2021/2022: Local news circulating in Argentina talks of a record grain harvest for the 2021/2022 season. The amount that is mentioned is 145 million tons as published in LA NACION daily. Favorable weather conditions and increased yields such as seen during the ongoing wheat harvest could bring the total to 145 million tons in total. The principal volumes are provided by wheat which is now being closely estimated at 22.5 million tons. Soya at 47.5 million tons and maize at 61 million tons, will supply the major volumes when harvest begins after late April in 2022. Also smaller amounts of barley, sunflower seed and sorghum. Optimum weather patters will be needed and it is still early days.

Fertilizer Imports – Urea: The volume of imports on handy/handymax/supramax vessels is urea fertilizer. During 2021 the total import volume was 1 million tons. Of this quantity 300 thousand tons was due to the three month close down of Profertil Bahia Blanca. The close down had been planned for two months but lasted longer than planned. The production shortfall was compensated by Profertil imports as well as other foreign suppliers. In the meantime the demand for urea is strong and imports are expected to be sustained, although at a lower level than 2021 because Profertil will be fully operational. Profertil will have one monthly cabotage shipment from Bahia Blanca to Upriver under coa and estimates 10 further spot cabotage shipments each in the order of 25/28 thousand tons. Otherwise the surplus demand for urea will be met by imports but these are expected to be in the order of 700/800 thousand tons during 2022.

Covid-19 in Argentina: Infections continue rising, in fact multiplying. Today, December 30th, was the highest contagion rate since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, 50,506 cases registered in a day. The Government is hesitant to call for new restrictions after the lock down of 2020. There is no differentiation yet of how many cases are Delta and how many are Omicron.

River Paraná Upriver: Rainfall over the River Parana catchment area (SE Brazil, Eastern Bolivia, Paraguay and Northern Argentina) remains scarce as can be seen below. This map shows the accumulated rainfall for the last week, up to December 29th.

We shall be sending the updated forecast of water levels up to mid March during the coming week.Please follow our “Daily Draft Report” sent every day and we STRONGLY suggest that you contact us prior load completion of a loaded vessel due to discharge at Upriver Port/s.

Crew changes in Argentina: Restrictions have placed on all persons travelling who originate or transit via Africa due to the detection of the “Omicron” variety of Covid-19.

This is still an ongoing and developing situation.

Incoming crew are now allowed to join vessels provided the proper Visa and Sanitary arrangements are made at origin principally as per below:

*Visas are issued prior entry at the corresponding Argentine Consulate for nationalities required.

The list of nationalities that require visas is available at: this link

*Full vaccination performed at least 14 days prior entry to Argentina

*Negative PCR test performed 72 hours prior first boarding

*Antigen test performed upon arrival at “safe entry corridor” point (for example Buenos Aires Airport Ezeiza)

If, in case the boarding crew member does not have full vaccination (minimum 2 doses) before boarding then the person must be kept in quarantine for 7 days and may only leave this quarantine once a negative PCR test is performed.

Tug Boat Service in Argentina: Tug boats still continue “working to rule” due to a wage dispute. Services are limited to 12 hours per day, every day of the week. Service is being provided between 0700 and 1900 or 0600 and 1800 hours depending on the port. This is at ALL ports except for Buenos Aires where the action has other characteristics. Negotiations remain ongoing.

Crew changes made at foreign port/s 14 days prior arrival at Argentine ports: Besides many other documents and certificates, these below are of special concern:

-Owner’s Crew changes protocol at foreign countries].

-Owner’s note (with signature and stamp of the Captain and Owners company) clarifying that the crew change was carried out taking all due precautions, etc.

-Medical certificate issued by certified professional in the country where the crew joined, not the country of origin.

-Covid test, PCR, for on-signers at port of boarding (not country of origin).

Lacking any of above (besides all usual documents) pilots will not be allowed to board until a 14 day period is counted starting from the moment the last crew-member has boarded.
Best regards,

Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.

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