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Down in the South Atlantic a new shipping dispute is under way. Never a region short of spats, in October Argentina decided to ban ships that had called at the Uruguayan port of Montevideo, in an attempt to induce more direct calls at Buenos Aires. The result has been to induce Argentina’s largest regional rival, Brazil, to lend Uruguay a substantial portion of the funds it needs to build a $500m greenfield port at Rocha, with the aim of it becoming one of the largest hubs on the east coast of South America.

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