Market News & Headlines >> Brazilian Roads Free of Blockades

Brazil’s highways were free of blockades on Wednesday as striking truckers focused on a plan to take their fight for lower fuel prices and higher freight rates to the capital city of Brasilia next week.

The absence of blockades allowed the free flow of soybeans to export ports and crushers, as well as fuel supplies to producers who are harvesting their crops for the first time in two weeks. Deliveries of feed to livestock producers and meat/poultry to slaughter plants were also unhampered.

The cessation of the trucker protests was timely for Brazil’s No. 2 and No. 3 grain export ports of Paranagua and Santos, where soybean supplies were running low.

The strike was costly for Brazilian livestock and poultry producers. According to the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA), the poultry and hog sector realized losses in the range of 700 million reais ($235 million) due to the strike.

At least 60 livestock/poultry slaughter facilities were affected by the strike last week. Livestock and poultry producers may have suffered most, though, as feed mills were unable to make deliveries to farms. Poultry exports were also shut off with truckers blocking the main poultry export port of Itajai in Santa Catarina state.

The issues that led to the truckers protest have not been resolved as the government has not given any ground on the truckers’ main demand for lower diesel fuel prices and minimum freight rates. Truckers plan to converge on the capital of Brasilia ahead of Tuesday, March 10 and have reportedly planned a national day of protest for March 15.