Brazil's sugar vessels lineup jumps to 70
July 01, 2012
The lineup of ships waiting to load sugar in Brazil jumped to 70 from 60 a week ago, after a channel buoy broke free and interupted ships moving through the main port of Santos for a day, Williams shipping agents said. Normal shipping traffic resumed by Tuesday afternoon, after the buoy, which broke free of its moorings late on Monday and halted the movement of ships at Santos port, was put back.
Rains that also slowed loading in early June have cleared over the past week and weather is expected to turn drier through early July. Local forecasters Somar see rains easing over the main cane growing regions in the coming weeks but added that ports would still suffer slowdowns as occasional cold fronts pass through and bring rain to the coast.
Wet weather at Brazilian ports slows loading of bulk raw sugar into open ship holds. Unlike ports such as Rotterdam, Santos and Paranagua do not have covered shiploaders that would allow loading of bulk cargo during showers. Brazil is the largest producer of sugar and controls half the world's exports of the commodity.
At Santos, Brazil's main port for sugar exports, the lineup of vessels jumped to 50 from 43 a week ago. Recurring work slow-downs by stevedores and customs agents seeking pay increases are also slowing the movement of goods through the port, but bulk cargoes have been less affected. Shippers of soybeans and raw sugar can secure customs clearance well in advance to the departure of the ship and loading requires minimal manual labour, unlike the handling of containers and other goods. The lineup at Paranagua, the No 2 sugar port, rose by three ships to 19 vessels to load whites and raws.