Rains make Amazon roads impassable; soy beans stuck

About 3,000 trucks carrying soy beans are stuck because of heavy rains on Highway Br-163, a major road to port which runs through the Amazon region in southern Pará state, Reuters reports. An unpaved section of the BR-163 is currently a swamp, and shows no likelihood of drying out any time soon. This is causing losses totalling $400,000 a day for grain traders moving soy from Mato Grosso to northern ports, claimed a local soy traders association.

Although some trucks have been pulled through with the help of heavy earthmoving equipment, most of them are unable to advance. The national highway department DNIT hopes with the help of Army engineers to free the traffic flow of loaded trucks heading north on BR-163 by Friday.

Major grain companies Cargill, Bunge and Hidrovias do Brasil have terminals that load barges on the river for transshipment in ports down river near Belém. However, Reuters reports that no soy has arrived in Miritituba since February 18, according to Daniel Furlan Amaral, manager of soy lobby group Abiove.