Argentina grain exports halted by one-day strike

BUENOS AIRES, July 12 Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:58am EDT

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BUENOS AIRES, July 12 (Reuters) - Grain shipments from Argentina, the world's No. 3 soybean and corn exporter, were paralyzed on Friday as port workers staged a one-day strike to protest high income taxes, labor union officials said.

Employees who inspect grains for quality walked off the job early on Friday at the main Rosario grain-exporting hub.

"The shipments are all halted, both for the agro-exporters and for the crushers. They're not loading any grains, oils or by-products," Guillermo Wade, manager of the Capym port industry chamber, told Reuters.

The south American grains powerhouse is also the world's top exporter of soyoil, used in the booming international biofuels sector, and soymeal livestock feed.

Agribusiness companies such as Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus have their own terminals at ports affected by the strike.

The protest comes as producers are at the tail end of the 2012/13 corn harvest. The season's soy is already collected.

Union leader Pablo Palacio said the strike would last until 6 a.m (0900 GMT) Saturday.

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