March 15th – Crew changes in Argentina

March 15th 2022

Crew changes in Argentina

National Holidays: Thursday, March 24th, Memorial Day.

River Parana Draft:

We attach the updated, March 14th, long term forecast based on data sup plied by INA (National Water Institute). At the present time we are in the middle of a surge that is maintaining a good volume of water in the river and a minimal improvement in the River draft. The longer term forecast is for a gradual improvement in the water level, but always within the very low draft levels we have been enduring during the last three years.

Grain and Markets from Argentina:

Activity in the grains market is beginning to pick up speed again as urgent purchases must be made. The hostilities in the Black Sea region continue but short-term grains requirements are being more seriously considered. Tunisia is in the market for 5 times 25,000 metric tons of wheat and 4 times 25,000 metric tons of barley. Iran is looking for 60 thousand tons of meal. Turkey will be needing 270 thousand tons of wheat to beef up stocks. In the meantime, Spain has allowed the import of Argentine maize to cover a short fall of Black Sea deliveries.

Closure of Soyabean meal and Soyabean oil exports:

The Government have closed the register of export permits for soyabean meal and soya oil. This has been done to stop further declarations and enable them to increase the export taxes by a “reported” two per cent. In that way they can also profit from the rise in prices caused by the armed conflict in the Black Sea area. At one moment there was a rumor that wheat, maize and soya beans were to be included. That has not happened, yet.


The procedures for selling the company assets to new owners are moving forward. The company share holders have voted to sell their holding to a consortium made up of MolinosAgro, Viterra and ACA (Argentina’s largest Coop). If there are no better offers the Judicial administration may award the purchase during the first days of April. The main assets are crushing plants in Avellaneda (Northern Santa Fe) and San Lorenzo (where the largest crushing plant and port are located).


As reported previously, the Government have issued “short term” tender for maintenance of the dredging and buoying of the River Parana between Upriver and Recalada. This “short term” tender is to cover the period until the “longer term” tender is prepared and awarded. The first round of the awards for the “short term” tender left only Jan de Nul to follow on to the second round. This has now been appealed by two of the disqualified parties. A decision by the tendering board is still pending on whether the appeal will be allowed. In the meantime, the dredging and buoying remains with Jan de Nul based on a direct award system.

ACA Berth, San Lorenzo:

The ACA berth in San Lorenzo is limited to maximum 180 meters LOA due to a navigation accident during late February. Although work is underway to repair the damage it is not yet known when this expected to conclude.

Bahia Blanca labor conflicts:

The stevedore union in Bahia Blanca continues protests by stopping work for one hour each shift. The stevedores are wanting a wage increase and a bonus to be paid for work during Covid-19 pandemic.

Tugboat crews in Bahia Blanca are working on a similar pattern to Necochea. That is a 12-hour shift commencing with the first service of the day.

Argentina-Brazil Flag Waiver:

As from Saturday February 05th the requirement for flag-waivers on traffic between Argentina and Brazil has been lifted. Previously all traffic between the two countries had required either Argentine or Brazilian flag vessels. In case a third flagged vessel was used a waiver had to be obtained. The agreement or treaty that regulated this was not renewed by the Brazilian Government, and has expired so traffic is free for any other flagged vessel.

Bunkers in Argentina:

The bunker supply situation remains tight. The PAE refining plant at Campana is closed for scheduled maintenance and will not renew its usual production flow until end-March. Heavy fuels (VLSFO) are in very low supply. This refinery supplies approximately 20 to 25 per cent of the market demand. Add this to present very high bunker prices brought on by hostilities in the Black Sea area.

Crew changes in Argentina:

Crew will only be allowed to disembark when a serious medical issue occurs.

In such a case a medical board will evaluate the situation and decide.


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,

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