* Strike had limited impact on exports
* Truckers' blockage had affected local food markets
* Strike had raised concerns over food prices
(Recasts with end of strike and details)
By Jeferson Ribeiro and Reese Ewing
BRASILIA/SAO PAULO, July 31 Brazilian truckers
ended a week-old strike on Tuesday after agreeing to start talks
with the government, in a stoppage that had raised worries over
food prices as it disrupted the flow of goods in the country's
heavily populated southeast.
Truckers were protesting the government's move in June to
require drivers to rest at least 10 to 12 hours a day in an
attempt to reduce accidents and improve road safety.
Several thousand members of the MUBC Brazilian truckers
union then began blocking federal highways.
"Everyone agreed to form a negotiating group. The group...
will have 30 days to work over the demands from the truckers,"
Transport Minister Paulo Passos told reporters in Brasilia after
announcing that truckers had ended the stoppage.
While a national truckers strike a decade ago forced the
government to send in the army after it choked off supplies to
grocery stores and filling stations, the latest labor action was
However, it had started to hurt local businesses.
The strike restricted bird feed supplies to poultry
producers as well as the transporting of animals, said Ubabef,
Brazil's poultry producers association. That highlighted the
risk of a prolonged strike driving up local food prices.
In southern Rio de Janeiro state, trucks had totally blocked
traffic over the weekend in one direction on the Dutra, Brazil's
most important commercial corridor between Rio and Sao Paulo.
Police said they have since moved trucks to the shoulder, which
allowed the flow of cars and emergency vehicles to resume.
Strikers had also stopped the flow of trucks on several
highways in Brazil's southern states of Santa Catarina, Parana
and Rio Grande do Sul, all of which are big poultry, pork and
The main southern ports of Paranagua and Santos reported no
holdups in the flow of bulk commodities to foreign markets.
Brazil is a leading source for the world's coffee, sugar, soy,
corn, meats and orange juice.
Distributors of produce in the main urban centers of Rio de
Janeiro and Sao Paulo had reported delivery delays.
Brazil's government only recently has managed to bring
consumer inflation under control after closing 2011 at the top
limit of the central bank's target of 6.5 percent annually.
The MUBC says there is insufficient infrastructure to allow
truckers to rest along the country's highways.
Brazil has also faced strikes over the past months from
health and customs inspectors at its main southern ports, which
until now has had only limited impact on the flow of commodity
shipments. Exporters have gone to the local courts to get around
the strikers and secure clearance documents.
(Additional reporting by Roberto Samora and Rodrigo Viga Gaier;
Writing by Alonso Soto; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer and Phil