PARANAGUA, BRAZIL — The Port of Paranagua on Dec. 30 reported its best December in the history of the complex.

In the first 30 days of December, the complex has exported more than 982,700 tonnes of grain, a 31% increase from the previous record of 749,000 tonnes set in December 2012. The total is 47.5% higher than the 665,800 tonnes reported last year. 

According to Luiz Henrique Dividino, the president and chief executive officer of the board of the Port of Paranagua and Antonina (Aopa), the expectation is that the coming months are also very productive. The new 2014-15 soybean season is approaching and two new chargers at the subframe 213 will start operations at the end of February.

"One of the shiploaders is ready and the second has just received the boom, the part that goes on the hold of the vessel for the loading. This goes up to 30 meters on the boat, almost 10 meters longer than the current equipment,” he said.

The larger ships reduce the time of shipment and cost by up to 10%, Dividino said. The new shiploaders can upload 2,000 tonnes per hour, about 30% higher than the older equipment.

"By the middle of the new year, we will have four new shiploaders. In the coming months more equipment will installed on the sub-frame 212 and another at 214,” he said.

Corn stood out in exports at the port in December. In the first 29 days of the month, the complex had received 12,337 truckloads, an increase from 7,645 received the previous year.

In spite of this recovery observed in December, exports of maize are still low, very much on account of low international prices of the product. The origins of the grain has been primarily the states of Parana, Mato Grosso and Goias.

So far, corn exports have reached 487,000 tonnes, compared to 219,000 tonnes at the same time last year. For the next 20 days, in addition to the 103,000 tonnes currently being loaded, another 311,000 tonnes are expected.

Most of the corn is destine for Iran, Vietnam, South Korea, Morocco and Japan.