October 24, 2018 / 2:57 PM / a year ago

Argentina truck drivers end strike, no impact on grains transport

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentina’s truck drivers’ union ended a nationwide strike just hours after it began on Wednesday, saying that the government would take measures to lessen the effects of high inflation and new export taxes.

“The transport ministry is going to take steps to alleviate the transport situation,” Claudio Enri, secretary of the Federation of Argentine Transporters (FETRA), told Reuters.

“That’s why we decided to lift the strike,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the Chamber of Port and Maritime Activities said the work stoppage had not affected grain exports. Argentina is a major world food supplier and top exporter of soymeal livestock feed.

Farm products are transported within Argentina by truck from the Pampas grains belt to export hubs along the Parana River.

The strike temporarily halted grains traffic on the highways but export companies had enough stock to keep loading cargo ships, said Guillermo Wade, manager of the ports chamber.

FETRA wants higher hauling rates for grain transporters after the government announced it expected inflation at 42 percent in 2018. The government is also increasing export taxes as part of its effort, agreed with the International Monetary Fund, to erase the primary fiscal deficit.

Reporting by Maximilian Heath and Eliana Raszewski; Writing by Scott Squires and Hugh Bronstein; Editing by David Gregorio and Sandra Maler

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