January 14, 2015
Brazil grain road won't be paved until 2016, minister says
A key road for soy and corn shipments linking to ports in northern Brazil will not be paved until 2016, the country's transport minister said.
Last year president Dilma Rousseff said that the highway, known as BR-163, would be ready by mid-2015 as the government tries to ease congestion in southeastern ports.
Brazil has repeatedly seen delayed infrastructure projects and this is thought to be part of the reason the country's economic growth has dipped in recent years.
Transport minister Antonio Carlos Rodrigues said the road would be ready by the end of 2016, speaking at an event about the export of the 2014/15 soy and corn crops.
The road is the main artery through Mato Grosso, which accounts for 25% of Brazil's total grain output, and links to Santarem in Para state to the north where major grain exporters are building river terminals.
Cargill has operated there since 2003, using mostly river barges, and Bunge last year inaugurated a terminal slightly farther south at Itaituba.