Dock strike in Argentina clamps crude glycerine shipments

22 March 2012 20:00  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A dock workers strike in Argentina has crude glycerine shipments clamped, as open vessels line up at the ports to try to handle cargo backlog, traders said on Thursday. 

“I have a buyer for veg-kosher crude and I cannot get anything because of the dock strike in Argentina,” one trader said today.  

The strike at the river ports around San Lorenzo occurred in early February.

But the situation affected about half of Argentina’s soybean crush and export capability, according to news media sources.

However, a shipping source said freight rates in the region were normal and vessel traffic appeared to be moving smoothly by Thursday afternoon.

Facilities and crushing plants for Cargill, Bunge, Molinos Rio de la Plata, Vicentin, Noble and Louis Dreyfus were affected.

Cargill and Louis Dreyfus, among others, export crude glycerine from biodiesel production near the ports of San Lorenzo and Rosario. Most of the crude glycerine is veg-kosher material destined for Europe, but some shipments are sent into the US.

Meanwhile, labour strikes continued on Thursday at a number of grain ports in Argentina.

Sources with the Argentine Biofuels Chamber (CARBIO) said no biofuels companies have been affected by the strikes, and have so far used their stockpiles of soybean oil to continue production.

But some of the biofuels producers might be forced to halt operations if the strikes continue for long, sources said.

The Argentine Transport Federation (Fetra), which includes most of the truck drivers and companies that distribute Argentina’s grain, began to strike on Monday.

Fetra said there were protests in 350 locations in Argentina’s grain-producing regions, blocking access to port terminals and routes.

The strike has affected grain transport in the provinces of Santa Fe, Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Santiago del Estero, Entre Rios, Corrientes, La Pampa and San Luis.  

Fetra workers also blocked access to the industrial areas near Rosario city, in Santa Fe province, where companies like Bunge, Cargill or Louis Dreyfus have their grain processing plants.

Additional reporting by Paula Krizanovic

By: Judith Taylor
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