Strike will paralyze Argentina soy exports

The four-day general strike in ports begin on September 18

The Customs Staff Union of Argentina (SUPARA) announced a strike period for four days, following the poor results of the mandatory settlement ordered by the Ministry of Labor in this South American country. The website of the union, which brings together many of the workers in the Federal Administration of Public Revenue (AFIP), assures that it does not understand why a wage increase granted to all AFIP workers is refused — the only agency that collects the national income that allows operation of the state and supports the policies implemented by the government.

The protests will begin on September 18 and will run until September 21, preventing exports from one of the largest international suppliers of grains. Argentina is the third largest exporter of soybeans and recently harvested 55.5 million metric tons of this oilseed in the current 2013-2014 season, according to data released by the Grain Stock Exchange in Buenos Aires.

Of this amount, experts estimate that Argentinian soy farmers retained 23.5 million metric tons, as a sort of insurance pending the Argentinian peso devaluation, forecasted because of the payment to be made by the central government to international investment funds subscribed by receivables from the state in 2002. This reduction in the supply of Argentine soybeans, along with the announced strike in ports, pushes up international grain prices and its derivative, soybean meal, (which the southernmost country is the largest global exporter) at a time of growing demand, especially by China.