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Brazil soy trucks line up at Paranagua port

SAO PAULO, Brazil, March 5 - A 40-kilometer line of soybean trucks formed outside the southern Brazilian port of Paranagua, federal road police said on Wednesday, after delays in harvesting the record crop created a transportation bottleneck.

Paranagua's port authority said that vessels were loading soy normally at 1,200 tonnes an hour in the port's soy export corridor, which consists of eight terminals, but that there was a lack of producer and exporter storage space, forcing the trucks to be used as "rolling stores."

"Production is higher, and there's a transport bottleneck due to rain (which slowed harvesting in early February)," said Andrea Cordeiro of Parana-based broker Labhoro.

Policeman Rosmar Custodio Santos said the line on road BR-277 to Parana state capital Curitiba was growing, while Cordeiro said there was a risk that the queue of soy trucks could exceed the 100 km of 2001 and reach Curitiba.

Transport problems have been increasing for the No. 2 soybean exporter as its production expands. Last week, the government revised up its soybean crop forecast to 49.65 million tonnes in 2002/03 October/September, an 18 percent increase on last season's previous record of 41.91 million tonnes.

On Wednesday, two vessels were loading 57,000 tonnes and 60,000 tonnes of soybeans, respectively, while a third was due to sail with 30,000 tonnes of soymeal.

Outside the port six vessels were waiting to load soybeans and four to load soymeal.

Shipping agents Transcar said that six vessels were scheduled to berth in Paranagua's export corridor between March 5-17 to load 347,000 tonnes of soybeans. The vessels were chartered by Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus and Archer Daniels Midland for China, Indonesia, Netherlands and Germany.