Argentine port strike ends, union says

Argentine port workers ended a four-day-old strike on Thursday, their labour union said, setting the stage for resumption of crucial soy and corn exports from the South American grains powerhouse.

“We just signed a deal,” said Edgardo Quiroga, an official with the CGT labor union representing the workers. “We are going to call a meeting of members to lift the strike.”

As stocks of corn and soybeans in the U.S. run low ahead of the autumn harvest, global importers are relying heavily on South American supplies.

Workers who man the tugboats in grains hub Rosario walked off the job on Monday over wage complaints.

Strikes are common in Argentina, where inflation, clocked by private economists at about 25 per cent, fuels stiff pay demands.

This strike came as farmers were nearing the end of harvesting their 2012-13 soybeans and corn. The country is the world’s No. 3 exporter of both crops and its No. 1 supplier of soyoil and soymeal.

— Reporting for Reuters by Maximilian Heath and Hugh Bronstein in Buenos Aires.

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