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22/05/2017 0:00 - Agricultural Commodities Market
Estimation of bulk agricultural products logistics in Argentina during 2016
We estimate the bulk agricultural products handled during 2016 in all the terminal port of Argentina, so as to calculate the quantity of trucks, rail wagons and barges that delivered grains, protein meals and vegetable oils to all the port hubs of Argentina during 2016. We have also estimated the ocean ships that entered into the Argentinian ports system to load bulk agricultural products for exports. We have not taken into account biodiesel dispatches. We have grouped the bulk port terminals in 6 port hubs; Gran Rosario, Bahía Blanca, Quequén, Zárate, Ramallo and  Villa Constitución/San Nicolás.

1) How much grain, protein meal and vegetable oils were exported from each port hub during 2016? How much was the total?

In Table 1 it is shown the total grain, protein meals/pellets and veg oils exports of Argentina during 2016, separated by type of product and port hub. During 2016 Argentina shipped abroad next to 87.9 million tons of grains, meals and oils.

The main port hub is the Gran Rosario, which coul have send almost 67.7 million tons, that is to say almost 77% of the total national shipments. We have included other origins products, like those coming from Paraguay or Bolivia that arrive in barges through the Parana River.

Nex to Rosario hub, it is Bahía Blanca hub, which has send abroad almost 10 million tons of different agricultural products. It had an 11% share of the national total.

Port hub of Quequén is the third port, having shipped 7.1 million tons or almost 8% of the total.

They are followed by Zarate, Ramallo and Villa Constitución-San Nicolás port hub.

When referring to Gran Rosario port hub, we are adding the cargo dispatched from the terminals of “South of Gran Rosario” and “North of Gran Rosario”.  In the first category it is included the ports located over the Parana River to the south of Rosario till Arroyo Seco. This included the terminals of Servicios Portuarios S.A., which operated Unit VI and VII; Cargill in Villa Gobernador Gálvez and Punta Alvear; Louis Dreyfus Corp. in General Lagos; and Toepfer in Arroyo Seco. The “North of Gran Rosario” terminal ports are located to the north of Rosario in the cities of San Lorenzo, Puerto General San Martín and Timbues. It includes the port terminals of San Benito, operated by Molinos; Vicentín and ACA in the city of San Lorenzo; Bunge piers of Pampa and Dempa; El Transito operated by Toepfer; COFCO (former Nidera); Quebracho of Cargill; and Terminal 6 SA. in  Puerto General San Martín; and the terminals of LDC, Cofco and Renova SA in Timbúes.

For Bahía Blanca and Quequen port hubs we have used the statistical information of the respective management consortia. The rest of the data were taken from de Agricultural Ministry.

In the case of Bahía Blanca, it includes the following terminals: Puerto Rosales, Base Naval Puerto Belgrano, Puerto Ing. White and Puerto Galván. The firms Toepfer (pier Luis Piedrabuena and Toepfer), Terminal Bahía Blanca (sites 5-6, 7-8 and 9) and Cargill (with its own terminal) operate in Puerto Ing. White. In Puerto Galván, the bulk agricultural products shipments are delivered by the port terminals of LDC and Oleaginosa Moreno OMHSA.

Regarding the exports from the port of Quequen, most of them are handled by the main Argentina exporters, such as LDC, ACA, COFCO, CHS, Oleaginosa Moreno, Cargill, Bunge, Toepfer, ADM, Amaggi, Noble and AFA, among others. According to the information of the Consorcio de Gestión del Puerto de Quequén, during 2016 Cargill and Oleaginosa Moreno would have dispatched meal/pellets and oils from that terminal hub. Cargill and Oleaginosa Moreno have oilseeds crushing plants in Quequén with a crushing capacity of 2,000 tons/day and 1,350 tons/day respectively. The one owned by Oleaginosa Moreno is destined to sunflower processing.

In the case of Zarate, we have included the Lima terminal, owned by COFCO, and Las Palmas Terminal.

2) How much products of national and foreing origin were delivered by trucks, railway wagongs and barges?

According to our estimates, 90 million tons of grains, protein meals and vegetable oils were delivered to the 6 argentinian port hubs in 2016 using different ways of tranportation: trucks, railway wagons and barges. The figure is the result of adding the long haul freight by trucks, the railway freights and the barge freights.

The figure does not include the shipments from the Gran Rosario hub for completing cargoes in the Province of Buenos Aires ports of Bahía Blanca or Quequén. We have to take into account that panamax ships can load between 46 and 49 thousand tons of dry cargoes in Gran Rosario hub and then sail to complete loading in Bahía or Quequén. This movement has not been taken into consideration in our estimates.

In general, meal/pellets and oils freights to Argentina ports are made by railroad, except the Paraguay or Bolivia products which are delivered through the Paraguay – Parana Waterway by barge. There is no truck freight for this type of products.

It is estimated that 70 million tons of grains, meals and vegetable oils arrived to the Gran Rosario using barges, trucks and railwagons in 2016, which represents 77.4% of the total freight entering into all the grain port system of Argentina (Table 2). It is estimated that 10.1 million tons arrived to Bahía Blanca: 7.1 millions by road and 2.8 millions by railroad.

In the case of Necochea, it is estimated that 7.1 million tons arrived by truck, always in terms of grains, protein meals and vegetable oils. According to the information of the Consorcio de Gestión de Qequen, no products arrived by railroad.

The products arrived to the port node of Zarate (COFCO and Las Palmas terminals) would have reached to 1.5 million tons during 2016; all of them arriving by roads. To the port node of Ramallo (Bunge) it would have arrived 1,055,000 tons, almost entirely by truck. Barely 20,000 tons would have been delivered by railroad.

Finally, the freight entering the node port of Villa Constitución/San Nicolás would have been of 400,000 tons during 2016.

3) How many products of national origin would have arrived by railroad to Argentinian grain ports?

According to the information of the Comisión Nacional de Regulación del Transporte (CNRT), or National Commission for the Regulation of Transportation, the railroad freight of grains, vegetable meals and oils in Argentina during 2016 would have reached to 12.2 million tons. We have estimated that almost 3 million tons would have arrived to Bahía Blanca through different operatives of Ferroexpreso Pampeano y Ferrosur Roca lines. We estimate  that almost 9 milllion tons could have entered into the Gran Rosario by railroad. The Ramallo node share is low considering that only 20,000 tons were loaded in this type of transportation mode.

As a consequence, 75% of Argentina railway freight of grains and vegetable meals and oils could have arrived to the Gran Rosario hub during 2016. The other 24% would have entered into the port terminals located in Bahía Blanca.

There was no railway freight movements in Quequen, Zárate y Villa Constitución nodes.

4) How much products arrived through the Parana River by barge in 2016?

Accoding to the information of the Agroindustrial Ministry and the Custom data, the Gran Rosario ports received 4.5 million tons of Paraguay and Bolivia products by barge during 2016. The figure is composed by:

a) Argentine origin grains sailing down the Parana River: 329,189 tons.
b) Bolivia and Paraguay grains: 903,029 tons.
c) Bolivia and Paraguay meals / pellets: 1,735,546 tons.
d) Bolivia and Paraguay vegetable oils: 726,216 tons
e) Paraguay temporary grains: 852,733 tons

All of these products would have arrived to some of the 19 grain port terminals of the Gran Rosario.

5) How much national products would have arrived to the Argentina grain port hubs by truck in 2016? How much arrived to each port node?

According to our estimates, 73.4 million tons of grains arrived by truck to all of the six grain port hubs during 2016. The most important hub is Gran Rosario, having received 56.1 million tons of grains by truck. The figure represents 76.4% of the total grain freights arriving by trucks to the entire Argentinian port system.

The second place is owned by the port node of Bahía Blanca with 7,181,699 tons, followed by Quequén with 7,100,799 tons.

Therefore, it is correctly asserted that 76.5% of grain tonnage loaded by truck is attracted to Gran Rosario, meanwhile Bahía Blanca receives 9.8% of the total. Quequén captures 9.7 of the national total, Zárate 2.1%, Ramallo 1.4% and Villa Constitución/San Nicolás 0.6% of the national total.

6) How many trucks arrived in 2016 to Argentina bulk grain port system? How much arrived to each port node?

According to our estimates, 2,600,000 trucks arrived to the Argentina six bulk grain port hubs, which is an incredible figure. We are talking of 5,600,000 trips -round trip- for the long hauling truck freight of the whole country. We are not considering other truck freights such as the one that transport biodiesel to the oil refineries or the ones that transport vegetable oils to de biodiesel plants.

Two millions out of the 2,6 millions trucks were destined to Gran Rosario hub; that is to say 76.4% of the national total. It could have entered almost 256,000 trucks to Bahia Blanca and 253,000 heavy vehicles to Quequén. As an interesting data emerges the following: the trucks delivering grains to port terminals in Bahia Blanca and Qeuquén represented barely 12% of the trucks entering the Gran Rosario hub; 260,000 trucks against 2,000,000 unloading grain in the Gran Rosario.

We remind to our readers that our estimates should be taken with precaution since we work with several assumptions and a strong lack of statistical information. The truck figures for the Gran Rosario hub have a slight change from the one delivered in the previous Informativo Semanal due to an adjustment in the calculation methology.

7) How many railway wagons would have arrived in 2016 to all the grain port nodes? Hoy many arrived to each port node?

According to our estimates, 258,000 railway wagons carrying grains and vegetable meals and oils arrived last year to the six grain port nodes of Argentina. Almost 195,000 wagons would have entered to the Gran Rosario hub (75.2%), while 63,500 wagons would have entered to Bahía Blanca and 426 to Ramallo. It is important to highlight that we have assumed an average loading capacity of 47 ton per wagon. The wagons of the Belgrano Cargas line has a lower capacity than the ones of wide gouge. However we believe that this figure makes sense for a more appropriate diagnosis of the railroad grain freight in Argentina.

8) How many barges arrived to the Gran Rosario hub in 2016?

Around 3,000 barges would have arrived to the port terminals of the Gran Rosario hub transporting almost 4.5 million tons of grains and vegetable meals and oils.

9) How many ships have entered to the Argentina bulk grain port system in  2016 for delivering agricultural products abroad? How many ships entered each port node?

According to our estimates, 2,900 ocean ships entered to the six port nodes last year for loading bulk agroindustrial products. The ship figure for the Gran Rosario hub would have increased to 2,180 (75% of the national total) during 2016.

Almost 376 ships would have entered to load bulk grains to Bahía Blanca; 252 to Quequen; 50 to Zárate, 34 to Ramallo 34 and 13 to the Villa Constitución/San Nicolás node.

In the Gran Rosario shipping units we have not included the cabotage ships or barges. We must also clarify that the figure has taken into consideration all the ships entering to each terminal for which one unit might be counted twice (during the same trip, one ship might complete its load in two terminals in the Up River Paraná system). It should be noted also that the ships entering in the Up River Parana System include the ones that load or unload other type of freights different from grains, vegetable meals or oils, such as minerals, general loading and containers.

The estimated figures reinforces the importance of agroindustrial sector as the great manufacturer that generates currencies and expands the level of the economic activity of our country. Agribusiness industry generates annually exports for more than 24,000 million dollars and motorize the transport sector. 

10) Which is the share of each mode when transporting bulk products to the ports in Argentina?

As we have estimated, 90 million tons of bulk agricultural products arrived to the exporting terminal ports in Argentina during 2016: 82% arrived by truck (73.4 million tons of grains); 13% by railway (12.1 million tn) and 5% by barge (4.5 million tn). It is important to note that barge freights are including the foreign origin products, specifically from Bolivia and Paraguay.

If we focused on the national origin products, in 2016 next to 85.8 million tons would have arrived to the bulk ports of Argentina to be shipped abroad: 85.5% arrived by truck (73.4 millions grain tons); 14.2% by railroad (12.1 million tons) and hardly 0.4% by barge (329,000 tn).

This highlights the imbalance in the internal transportation matrix of Argentina agricultural products, in which the most economic modes do not represent 15% the total


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