By Maximilian Heath
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Around 60 ships faced delays on Friday near Argentina’s grains hub of Rosario after a vessel on the Parana River ran aground and blocked passage downriver towards the Atlantic Ocean, the head of Argentina’s Chamber of Port and Maritime Activity said.
The cargo ship, contracted by Glencore and en route to Australia, was stranded on Thursday about 85 kilometers (53 miles) south of Rosario on the Rio Parana, the country’s principal commercial waterway.
The grounded boat was loaded with 42,500 tonnes of soybean meal, the chamber said, at a time when farmers in Argentina are beginning their seasonal harvest of corn and soy and port activity is increasing.
“At this time no boats can move downriver and they are starting to hold shipments at port,” said chamber manager Guillermo Wade.
Wade said a tugboat was currently trying to pry the boat, called the Pilatus Venture, off the bottom.
Argentina is the world’s top exporter of soymeal livestock feed and the third biggest supplier of raw soybeans.
(Reporting by Maximilian Heath; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Sandra Maler)