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BR 163



BR 163 in Mato Grosso during the rainy season.

BR 163 Lucas do Rio Verde


BR 163 - North of Sinop
before being paved


The primary highway for transport of agricultural products in and out of the producing areas of Sinop, Sorriso and Lucas do Rio Verde to the ports on the Southeast and Southern coast.


Plans to asphalt BR 163 from the border of Mato Grosso/Pará to the Port of Santarem have been on the drawing broad for years.  The last section from km 1067.5 to km 1121.2 in Mato Grosso (Guarantã do Norte to the Pará state line) has been completed.


Article on expansion
of the
Port of Santarém

Article about
Cuiabá to Santarém
on BR 163

Travel BR 163

click for larger image




"The completion of BR-163 to Santarém and the North-South railroad will have short-term impact on the agribusiness," says the coordinator of Grupo de Pesquisa e Extensão em Logística Agroindustrial - ESALQ - LOG (Research and Extension for Agribusiness Logistics at  the School of Agriculture Luiz de Queiroz at the University of São Paulo), Priscilla Ng. Grain producers in the states of Maranhão, Piauí, Tocantins, Bahia, Mato Grosso and Goiás will have access to closer ports and international buyers. In theory, the new routes will also reduce the overload on the ports of Santos (SP) and Paranaguá (PR). "The solution to the ports of South and Southeast is in the ports of North and Northeast," says director of grain and soybean processing of Cargill, Paulo Sousa.


Transporting grains via BR-163 and the North-South railroad may turn out to be only a theory. The ports of Santarém (PA) and Itaqui (MA), do not have the capacity to handle the present volumes of grains. "Itaqui is a bottleneck for North-South, and not be able to serve us when the railroad the Central-Western region," says Mauro Ramos, superintendent of Valec Engineering, Construction and Railroads, which is in charge of the rail project. Valec guarantees that in five years it could be transporting 50% of all grain shipments in Brazil, which amounts to at least 25 million tons; however, the Port of Itaqui current capacity is only 2.8 million tons per year.


According to Ramos, transportation costs for Mato Grosso producers shipping to the Southern ports runs US$ 67 a ton. Shipping to Itaqui, would cost around US$ 30. The National Agency of Waterway Transportation (Antaq) approved last week, the bidding for the concession of Terminal Grain Maranhão (Tegram) in Itaqui expansion project, which includes four warehouses, to be leased out to different groups, totaling a capacity of 500,000 tons. In the first phase, which is expected to be operational in 2013, will increase loading capacity to 5 million tons. "The tender shall be opened in June and construction should begin in September," says the director of the Port Administration Company of Maranhão, Daniel Vinent.


By 2024, the capacity of the Port will be 10 million tons, an investment of R$ 339 million mostly from the private sector. Vale will invest R$ 135 million in its grain terminal of Ponta da Madeira in the area Itaqui. The Vale is the only port through which the grain exports today 2 million tons per year. Thus, capacity will increase to 4.3 million per year.


In the case of BR-163, which will be the route for the shipment of the Mato Grosso harvest to Santarem (PA), the private sector is prepared to invest in highway and port improvement. "I think the road may be passable throughout the second half of 2012," says Sousa, Cargill. The company is the only one with a grain terminal in the port of Santarém, with a capacity of one million tons per year. "We can jump to three million tons when we get the environmental permit," says Sousa. Other companies such as Bunge and Amaggi also have logistics solutions in order to operate when the BR-163 is an all-weather highway.


Slowly gaining ground railways construction of new railway lines and revitalization of existing parts is expanding the use of trains by agribusiness, but problems in ports and lack of alternative logistics preclude the conversion of these gains into benefits for farmers. "Freight prices have a tendency to rise, because the infrastructure does not follow the logistic growth of production," says the coordinator of the Research and Extension in Logistics and Agribusiness, at the School of Agriculture Luiz de Queiroz, Priscilla Ng.


The freight cost rises even in regions where the rail transport options is available. "The railroads are increasing their participation in the transport of the crop, but the price of rail freight is set based on the truck shipping," says director of grain and soybean processing of Cargill, Paulo Sousa. "In some periods of the year, rail freight can cost more than than trucks," added the Logistics Manager at Cargill, Rodrigo Koelle.  In a year of a record grain harvest, freight rates in real terms rose between 5% and 20% compared to last year. "Remembering the Real appreciated in this period, which in Dollars cause our completeness to fall even more," says Sousa. But the gain in efficiency by railroads contributed to the agribusiness sector, particularly soybeans and sugar, in the view of Priscilla. About 30% of sugar production reached the Port of Santos via rail this year. "But there is no construction of new railways outside the Northeast region of Brazil," she stresses. Gradually, projects awaiting approval from the government long ago begun to receive attention.


source: Brasil Econômico



Canal Rural "On the Road" shows export route, which is the dream of Mato Grosso producers

Path would be one thousand kilometers shorter than the path used today


(Video in Portuguese, but still worth watching)


(click here)

Brazilian federal highway 163 connecting Mato Grosso and Para StatesEven with 48% of the work completed, BR-163 will still not be ready this year


 (click here)














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Kory Melby
Goiania, Brazil


55 (62) 3286-1506
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EMAIL  agturbobrazil(at)yahoo.com





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