May 09, 2024

Brazil's "Northern Arc" of Ports Increasing Market Share

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Brazil's "Northern Arc" of ports on the Amazon River and along the northern Atlantic Coast continue to increase their market share of Brazil's corn exports. According to the Association of Port and Cargo Terminals of the Amazon Basen (AMPORT), the volume of corn exported through the north ports during the first trimester of 2024 increased 7%.

Conab reported that the "Northern Arc" of ports in Brazil were responsible for 43.3% of Brazil's corn exports during the first trimester of 2024 compared to 36.2% during the same period in 2023.

AMPORT indicated that the northern ports have a current capacity to move 52 million tons of grain annually and that investments are in place to increase it another 48 million tons within the next five years bringing the total capacity to 100 million tons annually.

The Brazilian Minister of Ports and Airports indicated that the federal government will invest R$ 14.5 billion on port development and expansion between 2023 and 2026 through their New Program of Accelerated Growth (PAC). This is in addition to the R$ 639 million invested in 2024 in Brazilian ports and waterways to improve the movement of Brazil's grain production.

The state of Mato Grosso is Brazil's leading corn and soybean producing state and the distance from central Mato Grosso to ports on the Amazon River is about half the distance to the ports of Santos and Paranagua in southeastern Brazil, so it is much cheaper moving grain north. One problem though is the fact that the grain must move north by truck since there are no rail lines connecting the state with the northern ports. The proposed Ferrograo Railroad connecting the state with Amazon ports has been bogged down in the Brazilian court system for years with no conclusion in sight.