MARKET ANALYSIS

STRIKE IN ARGENTINA AFFECTS LIVESTOCK FEED EXPORTS

The strike over wage claims between three Argentine oilseed workers and grain inspectors’ unions has caused more than 100 cargo ships of agricultural products to be delayed, affecting global exports of balanced feeds. “The strike continues without any expectation that negotiations will restart in the short term Gustavo Idígoras, president of CIARA-CEC export companies chamber said.

While the unions demand a “living wage” and denounce a failure to comply with the agreed wage increases, the companies maintain that the unions have been “intransigent” in the negotiations. The claim is given in an Argentina strongly impacted by COVID-19, the Argentine peso devaluation and inflation.

Argentina is the world’s largest exporter of soy byproducts. Data from the Rosario Grains Exchange (BCR) indicate that, on December 21, “no trucks hauling soybeans entered Rosario terminals — where the grain is ground — just like last week,”  The BCR estimates that exports of corn, wheat, soy-based products and their derivatives will reach US$21.43 billion, a fall of US$1.32 billion compared with 2019. Due to the strike and weather problems in Argentina, U.S. soybeans hit a six-year high on December 21.