Argentina´s Port Strike Ends, Restarting Operations

Oleochem Analytics — The union representing Argentine grain inspectors at the ports said on Jan. 7 it had ended a month-long wage strike after reaching a contract deal with export companies that will allow international soy, corn and wheat shipments to return to normal.

The deal was made after long negotiations with Argentina’s private ports chamber late Wednesday night. The work stoppage by the union, known by its Spanish acronym Urgara, started on Dec. 9 and had affected operations in key ports throughout Argentina.

Argentina is one of the world’s top soybean, corn and wheat suppliers, and the strike hampered grain trade flow out of the country, weighing on markets for the last few weeks and contributing, in part, to a global grain price rally.

Workers were demanding a wage raise, holding back cargo ships at a crucial time when the export season ramps up in Argentina. The country’s wheat marketing season begins in December.

When the strike started, Urgara was joined by the country’s main oilseed workers’ unions, which recently struck contract agreements and are back on the job.

Urgara’s strike affected the T6 grains terminal operated by Bunge and local exporter AGD in the northern part of the country’s main grains hub of Rosario. It also affected Cargill and Louis Dreyfus terminals in the port of Bahia Blanca.

Oilseed workers’ unions signed a deal with the country’s crushing companies on 29 December to end a 20-day strike over wages that had paralyzed exports.

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