In Argentina, the Rosario metropolitan area has seen a 41% increase in exports of grain, derivatives and vegetable oils when comparing 2006 and 2017. Going back to 2000, the difference is a significantly larger 96%.

According to the Economic Department of the local Chamber of Commerce, in 2016, grain was moved by 1.96 million HGVs, 210,000 railway wagons, 3,000 barges and 2,420 deepsea vessels. Two of the Chamber’s economists, Julio Calzada and Alfredo Sese´, note that this was 300,000 HGVs and 250 vessels more than the ports in the Metropolitan area had reported in 2015.

The city and its surrounding area are also home to various processing plants, while road traffic into the ports is on the rise. The ports have drawn in around 2,400 vessels, loading or discharging fertilizer, containers and minerals.

It has been calculated that, in 2016, some 65mt (million tonnes) of Argentinian grain passed through Rosario, with

transport being in rail wagons, HGVs and barges, as well as deepsea vessels.

The ports also handled 1,735,546,000 kilograms of flour and 726,216,000 kilograms of oil from Paraguay and Bolivia for export, as well as 852,000,000 kilograms of imported grain.

The Parana´-Paraguay waterway is used extensively by barges serving Rosario’s ports, with overall export port traffic up 11% in 2016 compared to 2015. In that year, export volumes amounted to 67mt out of a total for the ports of 86mt. Both road and rail benefitted from this extra traffic, but not barges.

Significantly, neither the capacity nor the quality of either road or rail links have been improved in recent years.

The report’s author’s therefore conclude, “It is highly necessary and very urgent to quickly implement road and rail infrastructure works that the area needs and which have been continually put back over quite some time.”

Barry Cross