Gary Antonio Rodriguez Alvares writes for El Deber:
Soy: the troubles of success
“A great harvest of soybeans is looming and a new record of production looms. What is missing is the logistics and infrastructure so that these grains to come out with celerity and efficiency”, are claiming the Uruguayan producers. The port of Nueva Palmira does not the demand and generates cost overruns. “There is a loss of competitiveness, because insofar as (logistics) was better would be a better price for the producer,” says Ismael Turbán, CEO of El Tejar, Argentine company with 80,000 hectares of soybeans in that country (“Logistics Congestion by soy affects export profitability” (elobservador.com.uy, 21.04.13).) If producers are distressed in Uruguay – which has its own ports – and the problem is generalized, what can we expect for Bolivia?
Brazil, with 83 million tons of soy – compared with 82 million from the USA – don’t know what to do, as Santos and Paranaguá are saturated. Add another 51 million tons from Argentina, Paraguay 8 million and 2.5 million of Uruguay, and we breathe deep!, just to repeat the 1.9 million tons of oil exported in 2012, Bolivia must fight hard with them.
And it is that, when the availability of vessels is reduced, barges and space in ports and its cost rises; when the drop in the water you can not navigate in the waterway and to pay a false cargo by barges that do not load to full capacity; when the industry pays millions of dollars to dredge the Tamengo channel, and not the State; when owners charge per hour, regardless of the insufferable Bolivian permitting delay papers; when harvest time down to two months and must collect all the soy immediately to transform it and sell it at twelve months’ period; when the railway climbs the freight but not his ability to drag, and not lower losses; when the road transport is becoming dearer by low rotation of trucks, since Decree 470 prevents the best use of zones; when will the future price of soybeans fall by the simultaneous rise of crops in the U.S. and the Mercosur; when there is no longer a tariff award in the Andean market and silos are collapsing, Bolivia has a serious logistical unresolved problem.
I address the issue of good faith – giving some lights – worried about the clash between a group of producers and the industry, for the price of soybeans. And, because if the Government craves the agricultural frontier to raise of 2.9 to 4 or 5 million hectares, so that this dream does not end in nightmare, before will have to fix everything else…
Economist, master in international trade