The Soybean Route North Still Has 237 km Remaining To Be Paved says Aprosoja SAO PAULO (Reuters - 4 Aug 15) BR-163, the main route for transporting grain production from Mato Grosso, still has 237 km unpaved in order to reach the new river terminals in the North in addition to many stretches being in poor condition, said Aprosoja MT, association of Mato Grosso farmers.
A technical expedition recently traveled 1300 km of the highway between Sinop on the northern edge of Mato Grosso and Santarém, at the confluence of the Amazon and Tapajos Rivers in the State of Pará.
In the stretch between Sinop and distritio of Miritituba (PA) where several agribusiness companies are installing terminals to receive grain trucks and barges, 126 km is not paved.
From Miritituba to Santarém, a stretch many trucks travel in order to reach the export terminal of Cargill adds another 111 km of unpaved highway.
The Pará stretch of the BR-163 was opened in the middle of the Amazon jungle in the 1970s. Paving work began in 2009, with completion delayed several times by the federal government. "We have to seek ways to ensure trafficability, since the full paving of the highway will only happen in 2017," said the Director of the Pro-Logistics Movement, founded by producer organizations, Edeon Vaz Ferreira.
According to him, the construction of the stretch between Novo Progresso (PA) and Miritituba are mobilizing just now, already halfway in the dry season, which will make them able to complete only short stretches of pavement.
Aprosoja MT also pointed out that seven stretches of road have not yet been tendered. In 2014, the giant Bunge inaugurated in the first grain transshipment terminal in the region at Miritituba, where barges take the commodity to be loaded onto ships at a terminal located in Barcarena, in the metropolitan area of Belém (PA).
The big difference of the new route via the North, using the BR-163 and rivers, is the savings in transport cost. This explains the use of this route even though streches have yet to be completely paved. A truck loaded with soybeans from Mato Grosso heads to the Port of Santos, which is over 2000 kilometers by road, while loads going North travel half the distance utilizing waterways, increasing the competitiveness of the exported product and providing gains in margins in the production chain and to exporters.
The Pro-Logistics Movement estimates that the freight from the farm to the ship will fall 34 percent when the new logistics corridor is operating at full capacity.
BR 163 Near Lucas do Rio Verde
BR 163 North of Sinop prior to being paved.
BR 163 During harvest Foto: Hugo Harada / Gazeta do Povo