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Brazil’s Water Crisis Adds to the World’s Supply-Chain Misery

  • Drought is causing navigation woes on three major waterways
  • Transport time and costs may rise for corn, iron ore, oilseeds
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Drought is making one of Brazil’s most important river systems unnavigable, making it more challenging and costly for the commodities powerhouse to get grains and iron ore out to global markets.

The Parana River Basin in central Brazil is experiencing its worst water crisis in 91 years, according to the national grid operator, with June flows at 55% of the historical average for the month to sink to the lowest on record. South America’s second-largest river system provides electricity and water to Brazil’s industrialized south and supports river levels in neighboring countries, where drought has also made navigation difficult.