BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA — Grain exports in Argentina were disrupted by roadblocks set up by truckers at Buenos Aires ports, Reuters reported.
Drivers are picketing, demanding lower taxes, tolls and fuel prices and set fee schedules to be paid by farmers for transportation. The picket is expected to reach the main agricultural port hub of Rosario soon.
About 80% of Argentina’s farm exports are shipped from Rosario terminals, Reuters said.
Government officials are expected to meet with drivers’ representatives in the next few days for negotiations to end the protests.
“We are not part of the problem but we are suffering the consequences,” Gustavo Idigoras, head of the chamber, told Reuters. “We are having serious problems with export programs.”
The protests are clustered around the ports of Bahia Blanca and Quequen, in the southern part of Buenos Aires province.
“The negative impact of the protest is being amplified,” the Bahia Blanca Grains Exchange said.
The arrival of grains trucks at Bahia Blanca terminals was down by 95% compared with normal levels, the exchange said.
“The protest affects the loading of cargo ships, delaying or preventing them,” the exchange added. “In the period from Jan. 18 to Feb. 1, 284,174 tonnes of cargo were shipped, 24% less with respect to the same period of the previous year.”