Storm damages grains silos at Brazil's Paranagua port
Strong winds and rain at Paranagua, Latin America's biggest grains port, damaged part of a public storage unit and a sorting area but did not slow exports, port administrators said.
The silos were undergoing maintenance when the storm hit on Wednesday, a port spokeswoman told Reuters, sparing damage to grains supplies from Brazil, which will likely surpass the United States as the top soybean producer this season.
"Our concern is mainly to get this fixed before traffic increases after the harvest arrives," said Samar Razzak, a spokeswoman for the port. She said the necessary repairs would be made in at most 15 days.
Brazil's exports of corn, sugar and soybeans have surged over the past decade, but logistics upgrades have not kept pace with farmers' increased productivity.
Traders and producers are concerned the country will struggle to funnel up to 20 percent more soy over last year through a transport network already short of trucks, storage and port capacity when the harvest picks up steam in January.
Paranagua's public silo has the capacity to store 100,000 tons of grain while a smaller silo, also publicly owned and used to safeguard soy meal, c a n hold 15,000 tons.
Soy stocks in Brazil are low after a weak crop last season, but corn is still plentiful after a strong second crop was harvested in May.
Brazil's government crop supply agency Conab expects Brazil to export 15 million tons of corn and 36.4 million tons of soy from its 2012/2013 crop.