Argentina's Grain Transporters Call For Strike Amid Fuel Shortage

Buenos Aires, AR (Reuters) — Leaders from Argentina's major transportation union said on Monday (April 4) they will call for a national strike to demand an increase in grain freight rates, as higher fuel costs cause tensions throughout the industry.

The national transport federation (Fe.Tr.A) is demanding the government increase the tariffs on grain producers to reflect the higher costs for fuel, which has been affected by galloping inflation.

"In order to avoid further damage to the economy of its members, (Fe.Tr.A) calls for a national stoppage of activities from Monday, April 11, at 00.00 hours (0300 GMT) until an answer is found," the federation said in a statement.

Around 86% of soybean transportation to Argentina's ports is carried out by trucks, 13% by trains and the remaining 1% by ships.

Agricultural producers in the South American country have expressed their concern about the lack of fuel in different production areas, at a time of the seasonal harvest of soybean and corn, the two main crops of the major global grains exporter.

Besides that, Argentina's main rural associations have previously warned about the lack of fuel in the current context of international shortage of diesel oil and a sharp reduction in the global food supply due to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

The second quarter of the year is the time when the bulk of soybeans and corn are harvested, which last year recorded exports of close to $30.5 billion, including soy oil and meal shipments.

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