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Brazil Soy Exports Likely to Slow After Fire Near Santos Port

Brazil’s soy exports will likely be slowed after a six-day fire at a 214,000-barrel fuel storage facility near the country’s largest port of Santos. The fire has damaged six tanks holding gasoline and ethanol near the port, causing authorities to restrict access to the port, according to officials at the Brazilian soy industry association, Abiove.

Brazil is currently completing the harvesting of a record crop – one third of which would normally be handled at Santos for export. Currently, trucks approaching on the Anchieta Highway on the Santos side of the port are being prevented from entering, however deliveries are still able to gain access on the opposite side of the shipping channel at the city of Guaruja. Some 45% of the grain shipments that are usually handled at the closed area are delivered by truck, the remaining 55% are deliver by train.

Originally, soybean stocks held at the port satisfied shipments, however,"(Grain) stocks at the port are no longer supporting shipments on the (Santos) margin," Daniel Amaral, economist at Abiove, told Reuters.

The Santos entrance is scheduled to be closed through Friday of this week, meaning that shipments will not return to normal until Sunday, causing some Abiove members concern about whether they will be required to pay late delivery penalties. However, Port Authority planning director, Luis Montenegro is assured that shipments shouldn’t be delayed more than a matter of days, which would be covered under delivery contracts.

The restricted side of the port is also the location of sugar terminals owned by Copersucar and Cosan SA’s Rumo Logistica, however both companies have stated that they are still receiving sugar deliveries via train.

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