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Argentine Grain Truckers End Strike

Strike caused losses of about US $100 million a day

2 Lisa Selfie December 2020 Headshot

Argentine grain transporters have called off a strike over a dispute with producers that had paralyzed farming exports, the Argentine Haulage Federation (FETRA) told Borneo Bulletin on Friday.

Thousands of trucks that carry grain and its derivatives had been parked up on the side of the road for four days with shipment companies unhappy at the amount they were being paid to transport grain since their fuel costs have shot up in recent months due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Truckers began the strike April 11 to demand higher rates for transporting grain and livestock, which could hit grain exports during a key part of the harvest.

About 85% of Argentina's grain volume is transported by truck from the fields to the country's ports, and truck traffic is particularly heavy during the second quarter of the year.

Although truckers, the government and rural associations agreed on new rates for grain transportation in early February, FETRA said in a statement increases in the price of diesel have made it "impossible to continue working under reasonable conditions."

But the strike was lifted following an intervention by the Transport Ministry that resulted in an “immediate increase of 20%” in freight rates and a promise to renegotiate those again in the first half of May, said FETRA.

The strike caused “losses of about US $100 million a day," said Gustavo Idigoras, president of the Ciara-CEG oil and grain exporters chamber.

“About 200 tonnes of produce have been left unloaded at port terminals,” Idigoras said in a statement on Thursday

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