Low water levels in the Paraná River could last until the end of October and possibly until the end of the year, AgriCensus quoted from local press reports on 16 August.

In an interview with local press, Juan Borús, the deputy manager of Information Systems and Hydrological Alert of the national water institute (INA), said the current situation was “very serious”.

“If one considers all the variables that come into play over the last 140 years, it is the most complicated because the basin has changed, but above all there is one point that has changed significantly, which is the strong dependence that Argentina has on the Paraná River,” Borus reportedly said.

“By the end of October we should have the strongest expression of the river, with the lowest levels that could become very similar to those recorded in 1944.”

Borus said that the current situation was unlikely to return to normal before early January or February, the report said.

According to the latest available data from INA, water levels near Rosario were currently around 0.06m compared to the historical average of 2.92m for August, AgriCensus wrote.

In July, the Argentine government declared a state of hydric emergency lasting for a period of 180 days, during which the government adopted measures to mitigate the severe situation caused by the Parana’s low water levels, according to the report.

Low water levels on the Paraná River could generate losses of US$315M for the Argentine agro-industrial sector between March and August 2021, a recent study by the Rosario Grain Exchange (BCR) had found.

Last year, the Up River complex, fed by the Paraná river network, handled 70% of all grain exports, as well as 96% of all vegetable oils and 96% of all meals, while the river was a key waterway connecting Argentina’s Rosario hub to global export markets, AgriCensus wrote.