Mar 22, 2022

Emergency Declaration on Parana River Extended for 90 days

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

The Argentine government extended the State of Emergency for the Parana River for 90 days. The original declaration last year was for 180 days and it was set to expire in March. Rainfall in the headwater areas of the Parana River, including the Paraguay River in Paraguay and the Iguassu River in Brazil have not been enough to improve the low water level on the lower Parana River in Argentina.

Dryness in the Argentine provinces of Formosa, Chaco, Corrientes, Santa Fe, Entre Rios, Misiones, and Buenos Aires along with dryness in Paraguay and southern Brazil has led to the lowest water levels in 78 years. These low levels have led to problems in navigation, potable water, irrigation, hydroelectric generation, and economic activities along all the rivers in the drainage basin.

A big issue for agriculture is the low water levels at the ports near Rosario, Argentina which is responsible for approximately 85% of Argentina's agricultural exports. Vessels cannot leave port fully loaded due to shallow water depth which slows exports and increases costs.

The long-range precipitation forecast for southern Brazil and northern Argentina is not encouraging. La Nina is still in place as the Southern Hemisphere moves into fall and winter, which are traditionally the driest seasons of the year. If the rainfall does not improve over the next several months, it is possible that the emergency declaration could be extended once again.