February 8, 2018 / 5:31 PM / 17 days ago

Argentine truck strike pressures more ports, lowers grain cargos

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 8 (Reuters) - A truck owners strike that started last week in a bid to force the adoption of mandatory minimum grains hauling rates slowed the loading of export cargo ships on Thursday, said Guillermo Wade, manager of the Chamber of Port and Maritime Activities.

Argentina is the world’s top exporter of soymeal livestock feed and the No. 3 supplier of corn and raw soybeans. The work stoppage also slowed the unloading of beans at soyoil and meal manufacturing sites, Wade said.

“Time passes and no merchandise enters, there are fewer stocks and the situation is getting worse,” Wade said in a telephone interview, speaking from his headquarters in Argentina’s main grains hub of Rosario.

Strikes are common in the country as businesses struggle to provide wages that keep up with inflation, expected at more than 19 percent this year.

Arturo Rojas, president of the Management Consortium of the southern port of Quequen, said export activities were going to be affected there as well.

He said a cargo ship was loading and would embark on Thursday. “But there is no merchandise for the next one. After that the whole port would be stopped,” Rojas added. (Reporting by Maximilian Heath, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Tom Brown)

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