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Paraguay's Record Soybean Harvest Faces River Woes | Reuters

Paraguay is celebrating a record-breaking soybean harvest of 10.4 million tons, but low water levels in the Paraguay River threaten to slow exports, as reported by Reuters.

The key waterway for transporting soybeans is suffering due to drought in central-west Brazil. Shallower waters limit cargo capacity on barges, causing delays. While this is concerning, experts acknowledge the strong harvest, a welcome improvement over the drought-ravaged 2021/22 season.

The situation is critical. Near a key port, the river depth is just 0.74 meters, compared to over 5 meters last year, Reuters notes. Recent rains helped, but water levels remain low despite dredging efforts.

Roughly 80% of Paraguay's grain exports rely on waterways. Strikes by Brazilian officials further complicate matters by hindering overland exports. Meteorologists warn dry conditions in Brazil could persist, impacting river levels for months.

An advisor from the Paraguayan Chamber of Oilseed and Cereal Exporters told Reuters that the coming months will not be "encouraging" for exporters, with both weather and the Brazilian strike impacting the flow of soybeans to international markets.