October 24, 2018 / 3:00 PM / a month ago

Argentina truck drivers begin indefinite strike, no immediate impact

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s transportation union began an indefinite nationwide strike on Wednesday in protest of high inflation and export taxes, but the Chamber of Port and Maritime Activities said the work stoppage has not yet affected grain exports.

While the strike halted grain trucks into Argentina’s major port of Rosario, the port of origin for 80 percent of Argentina’s exports, ship loading was not affected as companies were still loading ships with reserve grain.

“Within the ports, the situation is normal,” Guillermo Wade manager of the Chamber of Port at Maritime Activities said.

The union, Federation of Argentina Transporters (FETRA) is demanding an increase in hauling rates for grain transporters after the government announced it expected inflation at 42 percent in 2018.

A union representative said that while there was no end date for the strike, the group is talking with national authorities.

Argentina is a major supplier of wheat, particularly to neighbouring Brazil. Its 2018/19 wheat harvest will begin in the coming weeks, which is expected to yield 19 million tons, according to the Rosario Grains Exchange.

Reporting by Maximilian Heath,; Writing by Scott Squires; Editing by David Gregorio

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