Jul 07, 2020

Port of Paranagua Recovered from "Bomb Cyclone"

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

Strong storms swept through southern Brazil last Tuesday afternoon causing widespread damage in the states of Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. The Brazilian National Weather Service is calling the storm a "Bomb Cyclone" with winds over 75 miles per hour, large hail, and heavy rains. Following the storm there are chances of widespread freezing temperatures and even a chance of snow in the higher elevations of Santa Catarina.

Widespread electrical outages were reported across the region including the city of Curitiba, which is the capital of the state of Parana, and the Port of Paranagua, which is Brazil second largest port for the export of grains and sugar. Many structures suffered roof damage from the strong winds and large hail. Localized flooding was being reported and at least nine fatalities resulted from the storm with eight occurring in the state of Santa Catarina.

Videos on Brazilian TV showed roofs flying through the air, buildings being destroyed, and trees falling across streets. It looked just like tornado or hurricane footage you would see in the U.S. The state of Santa Catarina was the hardest hit with up to 80% of the houses suffering damage in some towns.

Officials at the Port of Paranagua in the state of Parana reported that the strong winds resulted in some damage to their facilities, but port operations had basically returned to normal by last Friday with the exception of one of the six shiploaders in the Export Corridor that was still being repaired. The damaged shiploader is expected to be operational by the end of the week. All the berths with the exception of berth number 204, which handles grain or sugar, were operating normally last Friday loading soybeans, soybean meal, sugar, and unloading fertilizers.

Electricity had been cut to the port immediately after the storm, but service had been reestablished by Wednesday afternoon and unloading of trucks and rail cars proceeded normally.

There are widespread reports of wind and hail damage to the safrinha corn in the state of Parana. Earlier last week, the safrinha corn in Parana was 48% filling grain, 46% mature, and 5% harvested. Before the storm, the corn was rated 16% poor, 40% average, and 44% good. Technicians from the Department of Rural Economics (Deral) are in the process of evaluating the extent of the damage to the safrinha corn in Parana.

Some of the winter wheat crop in Parana was also damaged by the large hail. Following the storm, there were also several nights of hard freezes across southern Brazil.