Apr 10, 2024

Dispute Concerning Tolls on the Parana River Close to Resolution

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

The dispute over tolls to transit the Parana River from Paraguay to ports in Argentina started in mid-2023 when Argentina demanded the payment of tolls to pay for maintenance work on the Parana/Paraguay waterway. As reported by InfoCampo, the demand angered authorities in Paraguay, but a meeting last week between the Maritime Shipowners Center (CAFyM), together with the Permanent Commission of Transportation of the Basin del Plata (CPTCP) and the Paraguayan Chamber of Terminals and Private Ports (CATERPPA) as well as government representatives from Argentina and Paraguay seems to have "lowered the temperature" of the dispute.

The demand for tolls came during the last year of the Alberto Fernandes administration, but the change of governments in Argentina last December breathed new life in the negotiations and the dispute is expected to be resolved in the coming months.

The 3,400-kilometer Paraguay/Parana waterway allows continuous navigation between ports of Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The drainage basin covers much of the south, southwest and central west of Brazil, southwest of Bolivia, much of Uruguay, all of Paraguay, and almost all of the north and humid pampas of Argentina. It constitutes one of the most important water reserves on the globe and a vital transportation corridor for South American grain production.

Below are ships on the Parana River waiting to enter ports at Rosario, Argentina. Photo courtesy of InfoCampo.