The Brazillian Port of Paranagua is severely bottlenecked and over 100 vessels are being forced to wait to be unloaded, half of them carrying much needed fertilizer. Growers in the Brazillian state of Mato Grosso are expected to use more fertilizer this year than last as the state soybean total acreage is expected to increase by 11.6%. In addition, safrinha corn acreage is expected to rise over last year, further stressing fertilizer supplies.
Brazil imports 40% of its fertilizer through the Port of Paranagua each year, but officials report that because of the amount of traffic waiting to offload, an inbound vessel berthing today would have to wait for up to 2 months to be unloaded. Add to that the two million tons of corn Brazil hopes to export from the Port of Paranagua each month before the end of this year, and the result is a recipe for gridlock.
Planting in Mato Grosso is set to begin around 20 days from now leaving little time for port workers to offload nutrient supplies and ship them inland to farmers.
Some meteorologists are forecasting a delay in the onset of regional seasonal rains which could allow enough time for fertilizers to arrive on farms before crops are in, but less than half of the fertilizer needed for the '12-'13 growing season has been delivered thus far. The congestion comes at the worst possible time for Brazil's farmers who are just a few short weeks away from sowing crops.