In view of the ongoing developing situation and different communications and instructions being issued by Sanitary Authorities of the Argentine Government we have chosen to send a consolidated daily report at the closing of working hours with an update of the day’s news.
National Holidays: Monday, May 25th, May Revolution.
Covid-19 National Quarantine: The National Quarantine, with severe restrictions on movement will remain in force until May 10th.
Export licenses: None issued today. May 01st National Holiday. Next issue will be on Monday, May 04th.
River Parana draft: Referring to the reports prepared by the National Water Institute (INA) the forecast for the River Parana water volume are not expected to return to normal levels until the end of June (2020). Rain in Southern Brazil just does not happen we will just have to live with the situation as now.
Bahia Blanca: Due to the May 01st, Labor day National activities were reduced to a bare minimum.
Necochea: The port is still closed since April 28th at 2035 hrs due to high winds and waves. Best hopes for weather improvement and opening are for Saturday May 02nd. The entrance bar will be inspected at 0830 hrs.
The Covid-19 virus quarantine has brought most commercial activity to a standstill in the area.
Facilities of main players in Argentina are detailed hereunder:
La Plata port
YPF´s refinery at La Plata port has its shore tanks nearly full. Prior to COVID-19 irruption, they had maintenance work scheduled to start during the forthcoming days.
Dock Sud port
SHELL´s refinery at Dock Sud has already interrupted operations due to falling demand.
At Campana port Pan American Energy(ex ESSO) distillery/terminal keeps on working and has several available shore tanks along the Parana. Their capacity is not being affected so far. They used to import ULSD but after upgrading their facility they are now producing it and exporting different grades/products.
TRAFIGURA´s Terminal called Petromining keeps on working and also distributing their petroleum products (gasoil & gasolines) all the way up the Parana river to Bolivia and Paraguay thru barges. However, the shore storage facilities at these two countries are already reaching maximum levels so this shipments will soon be interrupted.
On a separate note, due to the low draft levels on the Parana river, the logistics are being severely affected. For instance, YPF´s Chacabuco berth at San Lorenzo port, has interrupted operations.
Bahia Blanca port
At Bahia Blanca port roads there are three or four 65,000 dwt tankers already loaded. These vessels have been loaded to free space at shore tanks as at this stage they do not want to deactivate the oil wells located at the western side of the country.
Shore tanks have already been filled up and ANCAP (Uruguay´s main importer and refinery) has stopped future product orders until further notice.
The River plate basin is also facing the same negative COVID-19/Quarantine´s effects seen worldwide.
There is a particular local factor that may play differently. This is “Winter”. For the last fifteen years Argentina has been importing gasoil & fuel oil to supplement or replace the gas used on the power / electricity generation units. This is because during cold weather, commencing at this time of the year, the gas is used for home heating. The cold weather has not yet started. Nevertheless the tankers (Panamax) that import and are lightered at Zone Alpha or Delta are beginning to arrive. The lightering tankers distribute the gasoil to the various power stations. The weather is still near 18/20 degrees temp now, as a result they are being used for storage.
Therefore, if the quarantine is further extended, it might match the demand from local power / electricity generation units and there, find a sort of balance.
Time being, there are a few tankers off Recalada awaiting discharge instructions. Some of them are:
Silver Gwen – since April 28th, 2020
Cabo Pilar – since April 15th, 2020
Champion Timur – since April 01st, 2020
Till Jacob – since March 20th, 2020
Maersk Cayman – since April 05th, 2020
Will keep you posted.
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.
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