July 30th – Upriver Ports

July 30th 2020

Upriver Ports

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.

Hidrovia New Concession 2021: Further to our circular of July 28th. The National Government are proposing to conform a new National entity to undertake the maintenance of the Hidrovia (Santa Fe-Recalada). As per present plans it will be a mixed entity with participation of all coastal provinces and the National Government. The main dredging and maintenance will tendered and awarded to a private company and the entity itself will manage smaller local dredging issues. No details yet as to the specifications and improvements to be required in the next concessions period.

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 Pilots used to be excepted but this has now been withdrawn.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

Covid-19: Further to our previous report, the provincial government of Santa Fe has excepted inbound pilots from the measure requiring a Covid Free Certificate when entering the Province. The National Government starts a new relaxation of the quarantine in the Buenos Aires area. This starts officially as from Monday 27th. The relaxing will be in staged mode over a period that is aimed to bring us back to a New normal by mid-August. This will be measured and depending on results on a day by day basis.

Wheat 2020/2021 Harvest: The feeling at the moment is less optimistic regarding the yield of the coming wheat harvest. The very dry weather over most of the area is expected to affect the initial growth and reduce the overall yield. There is an expectation that the yield will be reduced from 22 million to 19.5 million tons. But it is early days yet. The paradox is that in the southern area of the wheat basin it has rained so much that the sowing is delayed.

Export licenses: Licenses were issued on July 29th for 553,000 metric tons of maize, 74,800 metric of soyoil, 18,300 metric tons of wheat, 14,400 metric tons of soyameal and 15,000 metric tons of barley.

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 some vessels have touched bottom when alongside at berths when arriving or departing on maximum drafts. The situation is being monitored closely and we will revert.

Necochea: Necochea opened on July 29th at 0845 hours. The was closed since 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.
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 is at the moment only one international flight per week these requirements make it virtually impossible 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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