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Argentina’s Bahia Blanca grains port operating normally after strike suspended

Argentine grain port Bahia Blanca was back to operating normally on Thursday, a local official said, after five days of disruptions due to a truckers’ protest that included roadblocks that kept grains cargos from entering port terminals.

Bahia Blanca is in the southern part of Buenos Aires province, on the Atlantic Ocean, where exporters such as Archer Daniels Midlands Co, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus ship agricultural products harvested from Argentina’s sprawling Pampas Grains belt.

“The strike has been lifted. Trucks with grain are entering. Normality has returned,” said Carlos Sosa, a member of the board of the Bahia Blanca Port Management Consortium.

The striking truck drivers have not formed a union and could not be reached for comment. But Sosa said the strike may resume in 72 hours if truckers’ wage and other demands are not met.

The road blocks came at a delicate time for Bahia Blanca, when logistics problems at Argentina’s main grains hub of Rosario, Santa Fe province, had increased Bahia Blanca traffic.

Argentina is the world’s leading exporter of soybean oil, used to make biofuels, and soymeal livestock feed. The country is also the world’s No. 3 corn supplier.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Maximilian Heath; writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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