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Argentine Strike Blocks Soy Exports

Port workers striking over wages at Argentina’s biggest grains export complex have widened protests and on Monday were blocking access to most shipping terminals in San Martin and Timbues ports, union and media sources said.

Workers from the Port Workers Co-operative and the United Syndicate of Argentine Port Workers, or SUPA in Spanish, burned tires and prevented grain trucks from entering the two ports and others near Rosario, in Santa Fe province, 500 km (310 miles) north of Buenos Aires.

“We are waiting for the terminals to call us and we’ll surely sit down again for talks. Negotiations have not been cut off,” Herme Juarez, president of the Port Workers Co-operative, told Reuters.

The strike began last week and at first affected only two terminals at San Martin port.

On Monday, the protests were affecting access to terminals belonging to Bunge and Aceitera General Deheza, Cargill, Toepfer, Nidera, Dreyfus, Minera La Alumbrera and Noble.

The strike pushed U. S. soybean futures up for the second day, with CBOT prices rising sharply on Monday.

“It’s a little early right now, their big export program hasn’t started yet but if it continues it will have a big impact on the soybean market,” said Jack Scoville, analyst for Chicagobased trade house The Price Futures Group.

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