GFMM desk: Argentina’s main grain export center, preventing trucks from entering the city on Friday (March 20, 2020), in the northern port city of Rosario, prevented trucks from entering the city, although the local export chamber said the shipment had not yet been damaged.
The Timbues government announced earlier this week on its website that “all commercial, industrial and port activities” in the city would be suspended from Thursday to combat the epidemic.
Timbues is one of three main port towns in the Rosario area, along with Puerto General San Martin and San Lorenzo. Together they handle nearly 80% of Argentina’s primary and agricultural exports, including soybeans, oil and meal.
“The Timbues terminals are operating normally, but the trucks aren’t coming in,” Gustavo Idígoras, president of the CIARA-CEC chamber of grain processors, told Reuters. He said the local measures contradicted those issued by the federal government on Thursday, which called for a mandatory quarantine but exempted key agricultural export operations.
Global commodities giants including Cofco and Louis Dreyfus, as well as local companies Oils General Deheza (AGD) and ACA, have their own terminals in Timbues. Many maintain reserves at key terminals so can continue to export even if access to the port is blocked.
The disruptions come at a time when the export season is not yet in full swing. Argentine farmers have just started harvesting corn and the soybean harvest will begin in the coming weeks.