Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS)

Brazil’s soybean crop prospects, already diminished, have faced further setbacks due to severe rains and floods in Rio Grande do Sul, one of the country’s largest soybean-producing states. Luxembourg-headquartered shipbroker Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS) reported that the Brazilian national supply company Conab has indicated that the adverse weather could affect 30% of the soybeans still to be harvested, roughly amounting to 7 million tonnes. Initially, Conab had projected a soybean yield of 21.89 million tonnes for Rio Grande do Sul as the harvesting began promisingly, setting the stage for the state to become Brazil’s second-largest soybean producer. Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS) noted that it would be challenging to determine the full extent of the damage since about 40% of the soybeans in the central and southern regions, and approximately 10% in the northern regions of Brazil, remained unharvested. Conab is planning to update its national output forecast by mid-May, with the preliminary estimate for the 2023-24 season set at 146.5 million tonnes, which is 5.2% lower than the previous year and below the US Department of Agriculture’s forecast of 155 million tonnes. Given the recent flooding, industry stakeholders may need to adjust their expectations for the season. Many anticipate that Brazil’s soybean exports will surge in the second half of 2024, potentially bolstering demand for panamax and kamsarmax vessels in the East Coast South American region. Despite these disruptions, Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS) suggested that the third quarter, typically the peak export period, might still see strong support for regional freight rates from available tonnage. Furthermore, Rio Grande do Sul is also a major producer of rice, heightening the impact of the recent severe weather on agricultural commodities and shipping trade. Platts reported that exporters are hopeful about harvesting the remaining 10-15% of the rice crop, although the flooding has raised concerns about potential losses and reduced quality, especially with reports of damage to rice stored in silos. The grain exporters’ association Anec earlier noted that access to the port of Rio Grande, which is now operational following a temporary halt, had been compromised due to a local rail line outage. Road blockades are forcing grain trucks to detour an additional 400 kilometers to reach the port, further inflating freight costs. The floods in Bazil have resulted in at least 107 deaths, with 136 people still missing and over 165,000 displaced, many rescued by boat from their flooded homes. 13-May-2024


Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS) is expanding its presence in China by recruiting shipbrokers for a new office in Hong Kong, as part of its ongoing global expansion efforts. The Paris-headquartered shipbroker is also nearing completion of a deal to absorb the broking team of Colombia’s Amazonas Shipping and is set to open a new office in Vietnam within the next month. Despite already having offices in Beijing and Shanghai, BRS CEO Francois Cadiou believes that Hong Kong, with its access to various shipowning companies and traders, remains a strategic gateway to China. The initial focus in Hong Kong will be on dry cargo chartering, with plans to later expand into the sale and purchase (S&P) and newbuildings sectors. BRS Chairman Tim Jones mentioned that they are looking to assemble a small team of about three shipbrokers who are eager to join BRS and become part of a larger organization. Given that many of BRS’s clients in China also have operations in Hong Kong, the city is a familiar landscape for the company, particularly in the dry cargo sector. Like its other global ventures, the Hong Kong office is expected to start small, adapting to the local market needs and expanding its activities gradually. For example, when BRS launched in Greece in 2015, it began with a team of four chartering shipbrokers from Platou’s local operation, initially focusing on dry bulk and later expanding as seen in the Geneva office. Similarly, BRS entered the US market in 2015 by integrating the team from Connecticut-based Bulk Ocean Chartering and, in 2017, opened a tanker desk in Houston led by former Koch Industries chartering manager Currie Evans. In its approach to international expansion, BRS has emphasized that the Hong Kong operation must be entirely under its control, reflecting lessons learned from less successful joint ventures. The company is not interested in acquiring other firms outright. Amazonas Shipping, based in Bogota and owned by Eduardo Silva who is set to retire after a transitional period, has collaborated with BRS for many years and includes three chartering shipbrokers. One of these brokers has already undergone further training at BRS’s Stamford office. Currently, Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS) employs around 500 staff globally, including over 200 shipbrokers, demonstrating its substantial footprint in the international shipping brokerage industry. 22-February-2019