SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL — With the end of a contract between a Bunge port agent and a state-run port company in southern Brazil, there could be an opportunity for competitors interested in the public grain terminal, Reuters reported, citing documents and court filings.

The agreement between Litoral, the Bunge port agent, and the Sao Francisco do Sul port authority ended on April 11 and an extension is not foreseen.

Reuters said Bunge declined to comment and Litoral did not reply to a request for comment.

Sao Francisco do Sul did not say if it’s preparing new rules to attract operators.

Sao Francisco’s public and private terminals shipped an average of 5.7 million tonnes of soybeans and corn per year in the last six years. It is Brazil’s sixth most active port for corn and eighth for soy exports in 2022.

The public terminal is next to two private facilities, one of which is owned by Bunge and the other that is owned by a local unit of Japan’s Marubeni.

In 2020, the port authority proposed allowing agents to take turns operating the public terminal based on their ability to ship grain volumes and pay port fees.

That proposal has been challenged by Bunge’s rivals in court with mixed results. A lower court last week sided with six port agents claiming irregularities in the rules that awarded the contracts, Reuters said. The judge said the bidding process had flaws and should be “annulled.”