Shipments of tons of grain products, such as wheat and maize, fell 20.5% from January to November this year compared to the same period last year in Paraguay, according to a report on foreign trade from the Central Bank of Paraguay (BCP).
From January to November last year, 4.2 million tons of cereals were exported, while only 3.3 million tons were shipped this year.
Exports of cereals decreased by 4.6%. This decrease in shipments mainly corresponds to the reduction in shipments of maize, which reached 21.9% in terms of volume, while volume was 33.4%, being partly cushioned by the results obtained with respect to rice and wheat.
However, according to the report, wheat was the least dynamic cereal in November, with a loss of US$27.7 million. Maize had a loss of $1.7 million and sesame seeds, $1.8 million.
BCP's Director of External Sector Statistics Gustavo Cohener explained that the drop in cereal exports is mainly due to the difficulties that occur at the border, especially with Brazil, due to the closure of routes by union workers and National Tax Auditors of the Federal Revenue, resulting in hold-ups of trucks loaded with corn, wheat, rice, and soybeans travelling to the Brazilian market. "Due to the strike, the cargo cannot reach their destination, mainly in the case of Brazil," he stated. He also mentioned that although there are no difficulties in production, the transport problem has already generated losses for the sector of nearly $80 million.
Company officials called for a truce of 90 days, but the best they could achieve after talking with union referrals is the commitment to release the cargo trapped inside the dry port.
Meanwhile, the value of agricultural products in November 2016 dipped by 0.8% compared with November 2015, reaching $2.753 billion compared with the $2.774 billion recorded in the same period of the previous year. This was mainly explained by the smaller shipments of beef, hides, leathers, and soy flour, among other things. Similarly, industrial products declined by 2.9%, mainly due to lower sales of pharmaceuticals, boats for the transport of people or goods and tug boats, textiles, plastic materials, and footwear, among other things.