(Updates to show one strike lifted)
By Maximilian Heath and Maximiliano Rizzi
BUENOS AIRES, July 17 A strike paralysed all
grains exports from Argentina's pivotal Rosario export hub on
Thursday, a local business chamber said, disrupting shipping at
a busy time in the harvest cycle.
Argentina is a leading global exporter of soybeans and corn.
Prolonged strikes in the grains sector can have global market
implications and hurt the country's public finances, which are
bolstered by export taxes on soy and related products.
"Activity is paralysed in the 22 port terminals ... in the
zone between Timbues, San Martin and San Lorenzo, from where 80
percent of the country's grains exports leaves," said Guillermo
Wade, president of the Port and Maritime Activities Chamber.
Located on the Parana River, Rosario is Argentina's main
Workers under a local branch of the powerful CGT syndicate
of unions walked out on Wednesday at 6 p.m. local time (2100
Grains inspectors under the Urgara union also began a strike
on Wednesday at midnight but lifted it at midday on Thursday
after a request from the government to focus on wage talks.
Truck drivers have vowed to strike nationwide, beginning
Labor disputes are common in Argentina, where one of the
world's highest inflation rates is eating into wages, and
frequently interrupt the shipping of grains for short periods.
The latest round of industrial actions comes near the end of
the harvest for soy and corn, a peak time for exports. Typically
thousands of truckloads of grain reach Rosario every day, with
more than $20 billion worth of grains and soy products shipped
Major grains exporters operating in Argentina include Bunge
Ltd, Louis Dreyfus and Cargill Ltd.
(Writing by Richard Lough and Sarah Marsh; Editing by W Simon
and J Benkoe)