Lorry driver protests in Argentina hit grain exports

The global crisis in food supply, with drought and political unrest disrupting production and supplies worldwide, suffered another hit this week after an Argentine lorry driver protest in Argentina threatened to paralyze the country’s grains exports.

The provincial Road Safety Agency said truck owner guilds that were protesting at high diesel prices and shortages had prevented the passage of loaded trucks on different roads in the province of Santa Fe, home to port city Rosario, the gateway for around 80% of Argentine agricultural exports.

On Wednesday June 29th 889 grain trucks arrived at Rosario terminals on the Parana River, down by more than three-quarters on the same day last year. More than 80% of grains bound for export are transported by trucks in Argentina.

“As of today, we are missing more than 400,000 tons, so we are close to running out of grains,” Gustavo Idigoras, the head of the grain exporters and crushers chamber in Buenos Aires, told Reuters.

Argentina is the world’s leading exporter of processed soybean oil and meal. It is the world’s second-largest exporter of corn, and is a major global supplier of wheat and beef.

Guillermo Wade, manager of the Chamber of Port and Maritime Activities in Rosario, said that the protest was preventing replenishments of grains for crushing and shipping.