November 7, 2019

Significant Losses of Grain in Brazil Occurs during Transport

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The generally poor condition of Brazil's highways not only contribute to high transportation costs, it also results in a loss of grain during transport.

Approximately 60% of the grain in Brazil moves from the interior to the ports by truck and many of those trucks are ill suited to transport grain resulting in losses during transport. Research conducted by Conab, in conjunction with the National Council on Science and Technology Development (CNPq), indicated that 0.13% of the rice, 0.17% of the wheat, and 0.10% of the corn transported by truck in Brazil is lost as the truck bounces down poorly maintained roads.

The losses are the result of three factors including: the poor condition of Brazil's highways, trucks that are ill suited to transport grain, and imprudence on the part of the driver. It is a common occurrence in Brazil to be driving behind a truck transporting soybeans only to have your car pelted by a constant dribble of soybeans falling out the back of the truck.

It is a common in Brazil to see the shoulder of major highways covered with soybeans. The biggest losses are from trucks designed to haul dry packaged goods that have been employed to haul grain instead, especially during the peak export season.

These losses during transportation are in addition to losses that occur during storage. Most of Brazil's rice is produced in Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, and Tocantins and studies in those states have indicated that storage losses for rice are in the range of 1.5% to 4%.