September 15th – River Parana Draft

September 15th 2020

River Parana Draft

Our thoughts are with our friends in and around the US Gulf and SE U.S. facing very severe weather conditions

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.

River Parana draft: The sailing draft forecast for Upriver ports during September, October and November is expected to average 10.00 meters FW. The daily sailing draft is announced at about 10/1100 hours. Hidrovia keeps working on all shallow passes to maintain the draft at best levels. These dredgers do not obstruct navigation. Additionally it has been arranged for dams higher up in the course to release water in order to help maintain the water level. However not a great volume since they are also badly affected by the drought. The level of water at the Upriver ports is also affected by the tidal range of the River Plate. South and SE winds will improve draft for one or two days. This forecast is based on reports issued by the National Water Institute which measures flow and rains. It is advisory in nature. The max recommended draft to navigate the River Plate outbound from Zona Comun to Recalada Pilot Station is 35’00” FW, including bunker supply if any. This in order to minimize waiting time for suitable tide. In case your vessel is going to load or is loading a cargo for Argentina up river ports we are at your full disposal for arrival draft advise, to adjust vessels draft during loading.

Recalada Pilots: The Seamen’s Union in Uruguay has called a 24 hours strike on September 17th (0000-2400 hours). This may disrupt pilot service at Recalada during the day.

Hidrovia: Reports in the press talk about the changes in the new tender to manage dredging and buoying of the River Parana. Despite the implementation of a new State Company that will manage the Hidrovia, the dredging will be subcontracted to a private company for improvement and maintenance. Details of the improvements are yet to be disclosed.

Wheat: The Saudi Arabian Government has purchased 745,000 tons of milling wheat. Origins are expected to be USG, ECSA, Med and Black Sea. LH October, full November, full December and FH January.

Wheat 2020/21 harvest: The wheat harvest, due to commence during mid November is now forecast to be in the order of 20.6 million tons. On this basis exports are estimated to be about 11.8 million tons. Although the forecasts had been pessimistic the late rains had “saved” the day.

Petrobras Vitoria, Brazil: Petrobras have notified that they will cease the bunker delivery operations (Marine Fuel Oil and Marine Gasoil) at Vitoria ports, including Vila Velha, Praia Mole and Tubarão terminals, as from 22nd November 2020 onwards. This situation is due to the expiration of the current Tubarao’s terminal wharf hire contract, which is the loading point of the barges used to deliver the bunker products to vessels operating cargo in this area. The closure will happen due to the terminal landlord’s request, Vale. Petrobras will still supply bunker regularly in the other usual Brazilian ports, including those located at Rio de Janeiro and Bahia states, and will keep looking for alternative options to perform operations using technically safe and economically effective solutions.

Open loop scrubbers: The San Lorenzo Coast Guard have instructed that all vessels equipped with open loop scrubbers arriving in their jurisdiction be reported to them prior arrival.

Crew changes Argentina: The borders remain closed and crew changes are not permitted. There is talk at the moment that flights in and out of Argentina may be allowed as from early October. Soonest we have news on this we will advise you.

Crew changes Uruguay: On and Off signing crew are allowed entry into the country under very strict restrictions. On signers 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.
The best way of achieving a successful crew change at Uruguay is to have the vessel do this OUTBOUND at Recalada/Montevideo anchorage when the vessel’s schedule is not bound so much by weather and port congestions.

Recalada: Recalada, and Zona Comun have closed due to swell, fog and high winds.

Necochea: The port has been open since September 03rd at 0730 hours. It had last closed on Saturday, August 29th at 1640 hours.

Necochea: All vessels arriving must comply with a 14 day quarantine. The 14 days are counted from the date of departure from the last foreign port of call, regardless of having Free Practique issued at a previous port of call in Argentina within the 14 day period.

Bahia Blanca:
Pilotage service is suspended for short periods of time due to bad weather.

Bahia Blanca: The 14 day quarantine for incoming vessels will be waived for vessels whose last port of call is Brazil. Nevertheless the previous regulation for other last ports of call will remain in place. This quarantine can be excepted if the terminal where the vessel will load produces proof that an earlier berthing is required.

Will keep you posted.

Best regards,
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.

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