Market News & Headlines >> Argentine Grain Exports Again Hampered

A new strike by port workers in Argentina's main grain export hub of Rosario prevented shipping at the terminals of several major exporters on Tuesday, a local business group told Reuters News Service.

"The protest is affecting the tugboats in the loading docks of Bunge, Nidera and Toepfer in San Martin," Guillermo Wade, president of the Port and Maritime Activities Chamber, told Reuters. "It is only affecting these docks."

The strike is the latest in a series of protests to hit the port facility at the peak of Argentina’s harvest cycle. Last week, strikes by grain inspectors and port workers paralyzed exports for three days.

Customs officials at the Rosario port have said they could strike on Thursday and Friday, while the large group of port workers represented by the powerful CGT syndicate of labor unions has threatened to resume last week’s strike if talks with the government do not yield results. Truck drivers, had also vowed to strike from Monday, but called off the action in anticipation of talks with the government over tariffs.

The grain/soybean markets are accustomed to such strikes at harvest time due to the country’s high inflation rate, but the number of strikes and threatened protests is especially high this year.  Any extended halt to exports could be supportive for grain and soybean prices.