The Uruguayan port of Nueva Palmira is no longer able to receive inbound cargo from Paraguay after Argentina closed the transshipment facility on the island of La Paloma, citing reasons of security and non-fulfilment of investment. Previously, barge traffic from Paraguay made extensive use of this facility. The Argentinian move has resulted in the loss of 1.5mt (million tonnes) of cargo, given that the Uruguayan terminal used to receive around 200 barges monthly from Paraguay, of which half would make use of La Paloma.

However, in a recent announcement, the Uruguayan Finance minister revealed that the Brazilian company Vale is now to make use of Nueva Palmira. Here, it will handle iron ore mined on the Brazil-Bolivian border which previously used ports in Argentina.

Nueva Palmira normally handles around 11mt a year, of which inbound cargo from Paraguay represents 45% of the total. For this year’s harvest, Paraguay was expected to generate traffic of around 3mt for the port, although the loss of much of this traffic will be made up for by the capture of the new Vale contract.