July 15th – Seafarer’s Conference

July 15th 2020

Seafarer’s Conference & 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.

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

Seafarer’s Conference in London: A virtual Conference has held in London to consider the plight of seafarers during the current pandemic. As is well know there are considered to be close to 200,000 seafarers stranded on vessels worldwide who are unable to return at the end of their contracts. This produces strain and uncertainty caused principally by the closed border policies that are enforced worldwide. This policy is further exacerbated by the lack of flights which further complicate any possibility of the crews to return to their homes and to their replacements boarding the vessels. The situation was addressed at the conference but the small quantity of participants, mainly from European nations, greatly reduces possibilities of finding a solution.
We attach to this mail a Statement issued by the IMO explaining matters discussed.

Export licenses:
July 13th: 350,000 mt maize, 100,000 mt soft wheat, 81,000 mt sbm, 30,000 mt malting barley, 30,000 mt sorghum.

July 14th: 490,000 mt maize, 100,000 mt sbm, 8,000 mt wheat

July 15th: 100,000 mt feed barley, 83,000 mt sbm, 50,000 mt maize, 50,000 mt malting barley.

Argentine crude exports: Pampa Energía exported 94,350 barrels of Argentine “Medanito” Crude oil on July 07th from Puerto Rosales (close to Bahia Blanca). The tanker that loaded this cargo was bound for Rotterdam. The export shipment is quite remarkable given the contraction in crude trading that is caused by the worldwide pandemic.

River Parana Water level: The River Parana dropped sharply over the last few days. The S/SE winds that prevailed in the River Plate during last week rotated to N/NE the exceptional volume of water emptied out to the sea and water level dropped as far up river as Rosario (km400). The forecast at the moment for the coming months is that maximum sailing drafts will be in the order of 10 meters, plus or minus 30 centimeters.

Loading rates at Upriver Terminals: The new terminals Upriver, such as AGD, ACA, Dreyfus, COFCO (Timbues and Lagos) are loading at very fast rates. If using two gangs they can reach rates of up to 1,600 mt per hour. This is causing some vessels arriving in ballast to have problems being able to discharge their ballast fast enough to meet this load rate. There have been claims from the terminals that they have had to slow or stop their loading operations. They are wanting to charge the unused times against the vessels alleging that the vessel does not meet their “standards”. It is important to stress to Masters that arriving vessels be ready to receive the declared cargo at the reported loading capacity of the terminal.

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

Necochea: Necochea opened today, July 15th at 1645 hours. The port had remained closed since Friday July 10th at 1715 hours.
Tomorrow, July 16th is Necochea’s Patron Saint day. Stevedores and all activities consider it equivalent to a Sunday and overtime expenses are paid accordingly.

Bahia Blanca: Pilotage service is being rendered normally.

Covid-19: Between July 01st and July 17th Buenos Aires and the suburbs are being subjected to very strict quarantine.
The Province of Santa Fe has been relaxing the restrictions. This includes Arroyo Seco, Rosario, San Lorenzo and Timbues. But this means that all persons coming from City and Province of Buenos Aires will be subjected to a 14 day quarantine before being allowed to take up residence, even if it is for only one night. All towns have restricted access. Over the last few days vessels calling in the area have had to suspend or ask for extension to surveys because surveyors come from Buenos Aires.

One solution to this, although partial, is that a remote survey is carried out which allows the vessel to be granted an interim extension to be granted by Class and Flag.

Crew changes: Crew changes are not possible in Argentina TODAY.
Uruguay is beginning to allow entry for foreigners. At the moment passengers arriving must be Covid 19 free with a valid negative test performed 72 prior departure. The regulations changes day on day. If there is any urgent change to be made please check with us before committing.

*** 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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