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Master of Agribusiness

New Grain Discharge Terminal at Santos Port, Brazil

Mauro Bergerman, Sao Paulo, Brazil, defended his thesis, “New Grain Discharge Terminal at Santos Port, Brazil,” on September 5, 2012.  Bergerman is the Commercial Director for Transammonia Brazil in Sao Paulo. He will graduate from Kansas State University in December with a Master of Agribusiness (MAB) degree. 

Brazil imports 6 to 8 million metric tons of wheat annually, with more than 1/3 of that consumed in Sao Paulo. For companies importing wheat into the country, efficiently using port space to decrease demurrage expenses is necessary.

Bergerman’s client had an opportunity to build a new grain import terminal at the Port of Santos, but was unsure if the venture was a good investment. He conducted an analysis of different wheat import scenarios to determine the most economically feasible option.

“The current berth is used for soybean, soymeal and sugar exports, as well as wheat imports,” Bergerman said. “If they build a new terminal just for wheat imports and leave the exports at the older site, the company would not only save on demurrage costs, they would be able to export larger quantities of soybeans, soymeal and sugar.”

After reviewing a summary of his analysis, he concluded building the new terminal did make sense for his client.

“Building the new wheat import terminal is a good investment. It will improve the overall logistics of the port, improve the quality of services to customers, avoid unnecessary demurrage costs and improve shareholder wealth,” Bergerman said.

Adding a new terminal will also allow wheat and other food products to be moved more efficiently to meet global needs.

Allen Featherstone, Professor of Agricultural Economics and Bergerman’s thesis advisor, said, “Mr. Bergerman’s analysis captured the major issues associated with building a new wheat import terminal at the Santos port.  His sensitivity analysis showed that the port would be a good investment in all but the most pessimistic situations.  As the population continues to increase in Asia and Africa, it will be imperative to continue to modernize the infrastructure to move food to those parts of the world.”

The full thesis publication can be found online on Kansas State University’s Research Exchange at http://hdl.handle.net/2097/14756.