The water level of the Paraguay River, through which 80% of our country’s foreign trade passes, is below the safe point for navigation, due to the scarce rains that characterize the summer season, sources warned this Wednesday officers.
Consulted by EFE, the president of the Center for River and Maritime Shipowners of Paraguay (CAFyM), Esteban Dos Santos, explained that the course of the river as it passes through Asunción is about 25 centimeters below hydrometric zero (minimum safe to navigate).
Dos Santos indicated that, as a result of this situation, at least 12 boats are detained along the Paraguay river basin, since a partial interruption of navigation is recorded at kilometer 1,300 in the Paso Queso area, near the port of Pilar.
According to him, in that area “They cannot navigate a large number of boats.”
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In this context, he explained that the lowering of the river increases the rotation times of the boats by about 40%, which implies greater consumption of fuel, of the fixed costs of each trip and, therefore, of the value of the rate.
In 2020 and 2021, the Paraguay River marked historic declines of its waters of 50 and 75 centimeters below hydrometric zero.
This situation, Max Pastén, manager of Hydrological Forecasts of the Directorate of Meteorology and Hydrology, told EFE, was due to the La Niña phenomenon, which in Paraguay generates long periods of drought.
“We are presenting a situation of historical drop in the Paraguay River, we are once again close to those minimums, and it is expected that the rains could normalize after the first quarter of this year, that is, starting in April,” he added.
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Paraguay, one of the world’s leading exporters of soybeans and oilseeds, transports some 16 tons of products a year through the Paraguay and Paraná rivers, according to CAFyM.